October 3rd, 2011
School-bus ads a good idea?
By HOLLY OTTERBEIN
PHILADELPHIA’S cash-strapped school district is hungry for every penny it can get, but should it put ads on school buses to make dough?
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown recently floated this question in a poll on her Facebook page, and plans to hold hearings next year to explore the possibility. She got the idea, she said, from New Jersey lawmakers, who voted in January to permit such ads.
Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas and Utah also allow them. Idaho lawmakers recently rejected a proposal to do so, citing concerns that the ads could look like an endorsement from schools.
Pennsylvania does not permit ads on school buses, but Brown said that if she gets good feedback at Council hearings she would issue a recommendation to state lawmakers and the School Reform Commission to allow them. (Council doesn’t have the authority to authorize the ads on its own.)
In dire times, Brown said, any strategy to boost education funding should be explored.
“I do not believe we can continuously go back to residents year after year to ask them to pay more taxes, unless we exhaust other potential revenue streams,” she said.
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