March 24th, 2011

Bill would allow ads to be placed on school buses

Bradenton Herald

A bill that cleared a Florida Senate committee Wednesday would allow public school districts to sell ads on school buses if it garners support from other panels and from the state House.

Senate Bill 1124, sponsored by Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, would give school districts the authority—and some guidelines—to sell 2-feet-by-6-feet ads on school buses. Money from the sales would mostly help pay for student transportation, which districts say is perennially underfunded.

“Signs will be limited so that school buses continue to look like school buses,” Montford said, adding that ads for alcohol, political messages and “mature content” would be prohibited.

Montford, the CEO of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents, admitted to having qualms about his proposal.

“I had some reservations about presenting this bill, because I’m a little old-fashioned,” he said. But ads on 200 buses could generate about $250,000 a year for a district, he said.

The measure sailed through the Senate Pre-K-Education Committee on Wednesday. There was no word on when its companion bill might be heard in the House.

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