Two bills are in the Senate which aim to put commercial advertising on school buses in California. SB1295 and SB1518 want to put a little extra cash back in school district’s pockets with additional sources of revenues. With 7 States already allowing commercial advertising on school buses, California certainly won’t lead the charge, but its revenues certainly could.
The question we have to ask is will this compromise the student safety be increasing the number of distractions drivers need to deal with while on the road? Supports of the advertising will tell you that there is no data to support safety concerns, but then again, poor data capture methodologies and a lack of studies are the reason for no data.
Here’s the Senate’s commentary on why we need this bill.
This bill seeks to provide schools with a new source of revenue by allowing school districts to sell advertising space on the exterior of school buses. According to the author, the new revenue generated by these ad sales could be spent by schools on any program lacking funding, such as bus service, arts and music programs, sports, science labs, or even retaining teachers. In addition, the author contends that existing law allows school districts to sell advertising space inside school buses, on the exterior of school buildings, at lunch tables, in hallways, in publications, and in sports facilities. The author notes that the bill is intentionally permissive, allowing each school district to choose whether or not to participate and how it might spend the resulting revenue.