Education Funding

State Officials Find S.C. School Bus Ads Elusive Pot of Gold

By Katie Ash — February 12, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Advertisers eager to begin pitching their wares aboard South Carolina’s public school buses are hoping that districts will participate in a program that would let them do so for a fee—as long as state lawmakers don’t throw up a roadblock.

The program, already put into place by the South Carolina Department of Education, could generate as much as $3.6 million for the state and participating school districts in its first year, estimates SAC Inc., the Warrenville, S.C.-based vendor picked to provide the advertising.

The ads would be “totally at [each district’s] discretion,” said Donald Tudor, the school transportation director for the state education department.

See Also

See other stories on education issues in South Carolina. See data on South Carolina’s public school system.

But until the legislature approves a proposal that would let the state share the revenue with participating districts, the program is unlikely to be picked up, said Mr. Tudor. Currently, the money generated from the ads could only go to the state—and legislation blocking any change already is pending.

Just as well, some activists say.

“Schools should not be trying to capture young consumers en route to class,” said Jeffrey Chester, the executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a Washington-based public-interest group concerned with digital communications and advertising.

The state program allows ads to be placed inside buses, above the windows. Advertisers could include businesses, colleges, and the military, Mr. Tudor said.

The state also has already set restrictions: no tobacco products or alcoholic beverages, for example. Participating districts also would create oversight committees with authority to further restrict and approve ads.

But as a money-making venture, the program is far from a reality. A proposal to share revenue with school districts died in the state House of Representatives’ ways and means committee, and a bill pending in the state Senate would ban advertising on school buses.

“We have several options for modernizing and fully funding student transportation in South Carolina, … and we do not need to do it on the backs of our children,” said Sen. Greg Ryberg, a Republican and sponsor of the proposed ban, in a statement last week.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the February 13, 2008 edition of Education Week

Events

School Climate & Safety K-12 Essentials Forum Strengthen Students’ Connections to School
Join this free event to learn how schools are creating the space for students to form strong bonds with each other and trusted adults.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Creating Confident Readers: Why Differentiated Instruction is Equitable Instruction
Join us as we break down how differentiated instruction can advance your school’s literacy and equity goals.
Content provided by Lexia Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
Future-Proofing Your School's Tech Ecosystem: Strategies for Asset Tracking, Sustainability, and Budget Optimization
Gain actionable insights into effective asset management, budget optimization, and sustainable IT practices.
Content provided by Follett Learning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding When There's More Money for Schools, Is There an 'Objective' Way to Hand It Out?
A fight over the school funding formula in Mississippi is kicking up old debates over how to best target aid.
7 min read
Illustration of many roads and road signs going in different directions with falling money all around.
iStock/Getty
Education Funding Explainer How Can Districts Get More Time to Spend ESSER Dollars? An Explainer
Districts can get up to 14 additional months to spend ESSER dollars on contracts—if their state and the federal government both approve.
4 min read
Illustration of woman turning back hands on clock.
Education Week + iStock / Getty Images Plus Week
Education Funding Education Dept. Sees Small Cut in Funding Package That Averted Government Shutdown
The Education Department will see a reduction even as the funding package provides for small increases to key K-12 programs.
3 min read
President Joe Biden delivers a speech about healthcare at an event in Raleigh, N.C., on March 26, 2024.
President Joe Biden delivers a speech about health care at an event in Raleigh, N.C., on March 26. Biden signed a funding package into law over the weekend that keeps the federal government open through September but includes a slight decrease in the Education Department's budget.
Matt Kelley/AP
Education Funding Biden's Budget Proposes Smaller Bump to Education Spending
The president requested increases to Title I and IDEA, and funding to expand preschool access in his 2025 budget proposal.
7 min read
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on lowering prices for American families during an event at the YMCA Allard Center on March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, N.H.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on lowering prices for American families during an event at the YMCA Allard Center on March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, N.H. Biden's administration released its 2025 budget proposal, which includes a modest spending increase for the Education Department.
Evan Vucci/AP