Todd Isaacs of District Solutions says that school bus advertising can help cash-strapped districts raise revenue, and he points to the ads' record on the road. The approximately $15,000 that one district has raised so far is being put toward transportation for homeless students to after-school programs.
After serving the industry for more than 30 years with his business Lee Fox Bus Seat Repair, owner Lee Fox launches Fox School Bus Media. Fox’s new company contracts with districts and handles all aspects of the advertising process, from producing and installing ads to disbursing revenue.
Medford Township Public Schools will reportedly become the first school system in the state to begin school bus advertising, which the district’s superintendent says is an “effective means of generating vital capital and an exciting community awareness platform for corporate sponsors.” A local grocery store chain will advertise on the operation’s 52 buses.
"Age-appropriate" advertisements could be placed on school buses under a bill introduced for the state's new legislative session. Revenue from the bus ad sales would have to be devoted to the cost of providing pupil transportation.
Under the legislation, commercial advertisements that are “family and child friendly” could be placed on the exterior of a school bus. The idea has been proposed in Florida before but hasn’t passed.
The Senate Education Committee rejects the measure, which would have allowed school districts to sell advertising space on the outside of their buses and choose how to spend the revenue that resulted from the ads. Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, who authored the bill, says it would have “provided a new and needed source of funding for our schools at no cost to taxpayers.”
Two school districts in Colorado estimate generating $20,000 to as much as $60,000 as a result of advertising on their school buses. A third district has earned $1,280 this school year by advertising for four organizations.
The legislation would let school districts lease advertising space on the inside and outside of buses. It closely passes out of the Missouri House and moves to the Senate.
Joe Mirabella, who died Sunday at 68, co-founded an innovative program to help Colorado's school districts boost transportation efficiency, and he promoted advertising on school buses — a controversial stance. Colleagues remember him as "a mentor to me and many others" and "a giant here in Colorado."
Senate Bill 1295 would enable school districts to choose whether to sell ad space on the exterior of buses, and choose how to spend any revenue raised. The state currently allows ads inside buses.
The Parkland School District says it has the potential to generate about $150,000 in a year by selling 16 ad spaces inside a pilot fleet of 46 school buses. The signs will be made of a magnetic material and secured just above the bus windows.
How can an ad, which is designed to catch people’s attention, not distract from the safety equipment on a school bus?
The legislation would require the state board of education to establish rules to authorize school boards to lease advertising space on the interior and exterior of buses. The bill specifies what types of ads are not appropriate, and 50 percent of a district's revenue from advertising would need to be used to offset the fuel costs of providing pupil transportation services.