Advertising containing obscenity, sexual material, gambling, political campaigns or religion would be prohibited. The bill would also prohibit advertisements that promote the use of drugs, illegal activity, or anti-social behavior. The school board of a local district could determine whether ads are age appropriate or appropriate for school buses.
"It limits anything that could be considered swaying of children's purchasing decisions," bill sponsor Rep. Mike Kelley, R-Jasper County said.The sponsor said the addition of bus ads would benefit urban communities since revenue would be retained in a school bus advertising find. Fifty percent of any revenue would be used by the local school board to offset the fuel costs of the transportation services. The remaining fifty percent shall be used at the discretion of the school board.
"The larger cities will have more of a bus population and also a higher advertising potential for buses," Kelley said.
The ads would allow small businesses to support their local school districts, Kelley said. Advertisements will only be allowed on the passenger side of the bus or the ceiling of the bus due to safety regulations.
"This is just allowing our local school districts, at their discretion, to try to look at another funding stream as we continue to fail at funding the foundation formula," Kelley said. "Those are not the ones that need to be suffering.
The house committee has not yet taken any action on this bill.
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