Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Are ads coming to a school bus near you?



Yes -- if a bill that cleared a Florida Senate committee Wednesday 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 Wednesday. No word on when its companion might be heard in the House.

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 2:18pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours