Will More NJ Districts Take Advantage of School Bus Advertising? [AUDIO]
School budgets are tight across New Jersey and many districts are looking into other options to bring in revenue.
In fact, about a dozen districts have begun the process to adorn their school buses with advertisements in hopes of bringing in extra funds. Jackson approved the idea just this week and Upper Freehold and Evesham Township adopted similar policies last year.
"In a perfect world, school budgets wouldn't be so tight that districts would have to look at other ways to bring in money," said Mike Yaple of the New Jersey School Boards Association. "But, it's not a perfect world and budgets are tight. Still, most school boards are taking a 'wait-and-see' approach when it comes to advertising on school buses to see if it's something that can really benefit the district of if it wouldn't be much pay off for what they're getting in return."
Under state regulations, half of the funds from school bus advertising would have to be used to offset fuel costs and half would have to go toward other school programs.
"For some communities, it might be a difficult choice, but it might be something where they would prefer to have ads on buses rather than lose an important program for the students," said Yaple. "It's one of those issues where you will never see 100 percent agreement. Some people are adamantly against advertising on school buses and others feel the school board should explore all revenue possibilities."
When it comes to advertising on a school bus, the state requires that they not be about gambling, alcohol or tobacco and they cannot glorify violence.