SALT LAKE CITY — School boards in Utah would be allowed to sell ads on their school buses under a bill introduced by Rep. Jim Bird.
The legislator introduced a similar bill last year, but it was rejected in committee in February. Members of the House Education Committee were reportedly concerned that people would assume the ads were endorsed by schools and that students might be exposed to inappropriate ads.
As with Bird's last attempt, the new bill would let local school boards sell advertising space on the exterior of their school buses, but they would have to adopt guidelines for the types of ads that would be permitted.
The ads would have to be age appropriate and could not contain sexual material or promote alcohol, tobacco, drugs or gambling.
The state Department of Transportation would make and enforce rules on the placement and size of school bus ads. They could not be placed on the back of buses and could not resemble traffic-control devices.
Revenue from ad sales would be deposited into the school district's or charter school's general fund.
Although his previous bill failed, Bird told The Salt Lake Tribune that he's trying again because Utah school districts still need more money, and he believes bus ads would be a good way to raise it.
In New Jersey last week, Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a bill that allows the state's school districts to place ads on the exterior sides of their buses. It went into effect immediately.