December 30th, 2013

Mesa Unified School District bus

By Jessica Boehm
East Valley Tribune

School bus advertising has come to the forefront in funding discussions for school districts across the East Valley. While some districts are on board and are seeing profits of more than $100,000 per year, others are hesitant of the influx of commercialization.
For Ron Latko, director of transportation and fleet management for Mesa Public Schools, the decision to have advertisements on school buses was a “no-brainer.”

The district has advertised on buses for three years, but recently formed a new partnership with Alpha Media to handle the advertising process after the previous company it used went out of business. Alpha Media handles the selling and installing of advertising and takes a 38 percent cut of the gross revenue. That being said, Latko said the district still sees more than $100,000 per year from the advertising. “It’s a budget filler,” President and CEO of Alpha Media Michael Beauchamp said in a previous interview. “It’s a way to counteract budget shortfalls. When teachers are being laid off when programs are being cut across the country, this is a way to generate a new stream of revenue.”

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