Advertising on School Buses – Good or Bad?

Back when I was in grade school, my parents would drop me off in front of the school and we’d pass a swarm of yellow school buses with the name of the school written across in large black letters. Now, what if I had read an advertisement for a restaurant, or maybe a full advertisement for the recently released Glee 3D movie? Parents, students and school educators are talking about this bill currently in question in Orlando, Florida because if it passed, there could be potential for the aforementioned advertisements to be placed on the side of school buses.

The general bill titled HB 19, as posted on the Florida House of Representatives, states: “Public School Buses: Provides for district school board policies that authorize commercial advertisements on school buses; provides policy requirements relating to reimbursement to school district, prohibited advertisements, & signage & equipment standards; requires school bus to be withdrawn from use under certain circumstances; provides for remittance & allocation of revenue.”

Other states have jumped on the cheesewagon by putting their version of the law into the system including Texas and Colorado, and several other states are supporting similar legislation. States that are considering the idea include Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Utah and Washington. On the other hand, there have been arguments that advertisements on the side of school buses will distract other drivers on the road and school districts shouldn’t sell children’s attention. These have been a few reasons why Idaho lawmakers rejected a potential proposal.

With Florida facing millions of dollars in budget cuts, every dollar counts and every source of income and spending needs to be considered and the buses can be used as a source of income for the school districts. In reference to the Orlando Sentinel, Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, has said that (based on estimates from other states) districts could earn $250,000 a year for turning 200 buses into rolling advertisements. If this bill goes through, hopefully it bill will help Orlando and the rest of Florida make a speedy economic recovery and put money back into schools.

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