Florida Senate moves ahead school bus advertising bill
In the face of multibillion-dollar cuts to Florida public education, state lawmakers have offered up at least one potential new revenue source to close a small piece of the expected shortfall.
A bill to allow school districts to sell advertising on student buses passed through its second committee stop this morning, on a 5-1 vote.
The idea has taken hold in some other states, such as Arizona, although the amount it actually generates falls far short of the levels needed to balance a budget. Every dollar helps, they say.
Some critics, meanwhile, have argued that school districts should not sell children's attention, while others have suggested the ads will lead to distracted driving. That's one reason given by Idaho lawmakers who rejected such a proposal a week ago.
If Florida's bill makes it into law, it would permit ads on the outside of buses only, with several caveats including they may not promote alcohol, tobacco, political or sexual messages, or discriminate in any way. The money collected would be doled out so that half would go to district transportation costs, 40 percent would support programs as determined locally, and 10 percent would go toward driver education programs.