TRENTON, N.J. — A bill that would allow school districts statewide to place advertisements on the exterior sides of their buses has made more progress in the state Legislature. It was approved by the Assembly in late September and has been referred to the Senate Education Committee.
As SBF reported last month, under A1637, the board of education of any school district can enter into a contract to sell advertising space on school buses owned or leased by the district.
Advertisements for tobacco or alcohol products or for political advocacy would be prohibited, as would any other advertisements for products or services or by sponsors that the commissioner of education deems inappropriate. All advertisements would require prior approval by the local board of education.
Moreover, 50 percent of any revenue generated by the sale would be used by the board to offset the cost of fuel for providing pupil transportation services. The remaining 50 percent of the revenue would be used to support any programs and services the board deems appropriate.
The Associated Press (AP) reports that the Senate Education Committee has yet to schedule a hearing for the bill, but there is little opposition to it.
"The fiscal challenges that school systems around the state are facing necessitates that we think creatively about finding alternative revenue sources to lessen the burden on property taxpayers," Assemblyman Scott Rudder told the news source. Rudder was one of the bill’s primary sponsors in that chamber.
(Gov. Chris Christie cut aid to schools by $812 million this year to help close an $11-billion budget gap in the fiscal year that began July 1, according to the AP.)