Some School Administrators Question Bus Ad Bill

Jan 16, 2012

Calloway County and Murray school superintendents are skeptical of the benefit of proposed legislation that would allow school districts to sell advertising on the exterior of school buses.  House Bill 30 is currently awaiting a full vote in the state House scheduled for Tuesday.  Districts already sell advertising in their sports arenas, and in school yearbooks, but Murray Independent Schools Superintendent Bob Rogers said there is such a thing as too much commercialization. He remarked that his district would likely not stand to benefit from the option, if it was made available.

“It would be a drop in the bucket, I would think. Jefferson County, if they have 300 school buses, maybe it would (be good) for them. But for smaller school systems, with 10, 15 school buses, ... I think that’s carrying it too far,” said Rogers.

Calloway County Schools Superintendent Ken Bargo said if the legislation passes Calloway will not participate in school bus advertising.

“The problem with advertising on buses is, number one, how big do you make the advertising? How do you charge for it? Who’s going to regulate it? Who’s going to actually oversee it and take care of all that?” said Bargo. “I think it just creates additional work for very little profit.”

According to the provisions of the measure, money generated from the ads would stay in the district, and the local school board would decide how to use it.

State Rep. Terry Mills of Lebanon is the bill’s sponsor. Mills had unsuccessfully pressed for the legislation last year. It would prohibit political advertising on the buses. Ads for tobacco, sexually oriented businesses and alcohol products would also be barred.