BUS AD BILL BREEZES THROUGH ASSEMBLY

Legislation to allow ads on school buses to help schools boost revenue was approved Thursday by the Assembly. The bill (A-1637), which passed by a vote of 75 to 0, would allow school districts to sell advertising space on the exterior sides of school buses owned or leased by the school district.

The bill would require 50 percent of any revenue generated by the sale to be used by the board to offset the fuel costs of providing pupil transportation services and the remaining 50 percent of the revenue would be used to support programs and services the board deems appropriate.

The bill would also require all advertisements to be approved by the local board of education prior to their use. Advertisements for tobacco or alcohol products or for political advocacy would be prohibited, in addition to any other advertisements that the Commissioner of Education deems inappropriate.

Under the bill, the Commissioner of Education would be required to report to the Governor and to the Legislature within one year of the bill’s effective date, and annually thereafter, concerning advertising on school buses. The report will include the number of boards of education that permit the advertising and the fiscal benefits that have been derived as a result of the advertising.

Currently, advertising on the exterior or interior of school buses is prohibited under state law. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

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