OKLAHOMA CITY — School bus advertising may soon help Oklahoma school districts generate revenue to alleviate the state’s budget crisis.
Senate Bill 421, drafted by state Rep. Seneca Scott and state Sen. Gary Stanislawski, would give school districts the right to sell advertising space on the exterior of transportation equipment.
“This gives school districts a chance to generate some extra money that will help offset cuts caused by the budget downturn this year,” Scott said. “If a few advertisements can save a teacher’s job, I am all for it.”
A provision in the bill requires school districts to give top preference to advertisers that promote manufacturers and businesses that are members of the Made in Oklahoma program, or to retailers that promote Made in Oklahoma members.
“Currently, the Made in Oklahoma program has over 250 Oklahoma agricultural manufacturers and producers signed up with the organization, producing products that include homemade barbecue sauce, fresh fruits and vegetables, candles, soaps, chocolate, kettle corn, nuts, wine, coffee, meats, honey, milk and ice cream, bakery goods, pottery, handmade furniture and much more. This is a large pool of advertisers that might advertise on school buses, generating more revenue for both Oklahoma businesses and Oklahoma schools,” Scott said.
The proposed law would not allow bus advertisements that promote hostility, violence, political candidates, bond issues, gambling, tobacco, firearms, or religious or political organizations.
Revenue raised through school bus advertising would go into school districts’ general funds.
The bill passed in House of Representatives this week and will now return to the Senate.