SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A bill that would have allowed school districts to sell advertising space on the outside of their buses has died in a Senate committee.
Under Senate Bill (SB) 1295, the ads would have been subject to restrictions, and school districts would have been required to adopt policies and guidelines in regard to the ads’ content.
A school district would have been prohibited from entering into an agreement with any entity that has certain types of ads, including those that solicit alcohol, tobacco, firearms or sexually explicit material; are discriminatory in nature or content; or imply or declare endorsement of the product or service by the school district.
The bill also contained provisions about the design, placement and size of the ads allowed, and it would have given school districts full authority over how to spend the revenue that resulted from the advertisements.
When Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff introduced the bill, his spokesman, Bill Bird, told The Sacramento Bee that they were looking "for a way for districts to find another source of funding without placing additional burdens on taxpayers," as SBF previously reported.
The defeat of SB 1295 by the Senate Committee on Education comes on the heels of a California Taxpayers’ Association report that claims that the legislation could have resulted in $31 million annually in additional revenues for California schools.
“This is a shortsighted decision by Democrats on the Senate Education Committee,” Huff said following the vote. “As Democrats base the educational future of our schoolchildren on a tax measure that may or may not get approved this November, we need to lead by finding alternative ways to help protect our teachers and continue to provide a quality education to our children.”
Under current California law, school districts can sell advertising space inside school buses, on the exterior of campus buildings, at lunch tables, in hallways, in school-related publications (such as newspapers and yearbooks) and in sports facilities.
Moreover, a recent Department of Education study revealed that 127 California school districts face severe financial jeopardy because of state budget cuts.
“We should be providing solutions, not gambling on the future of our children,” Huff added. “My measure [would have] provided a new and needed source of funding for our schools at no cost to taxpayers.”