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Advertising on School Buses

This from Publicola:

Here’s what a proposal by Snohomish County-area State Sen. Paull Shin (D-21) would do:

Requires the rules of the superintendent of public instruction to allow school districts to place advertising and educational material on and in school buses after approval by the school district board of directors. Directs revenue received for the advertising and educational material to be deposited in the school district’s general fund or transportation vehicle fund.

He’s got six co-sponsors, including Seattle-area Sens. Adam Kline (D-37), Joe McDermott (D-34) and (suburbs) Rodney Tom (D-48).

Well, that would be great except for what would be allowed? I believe the district has an advertising policy already in place in SPS; would this override that? (You'd better believe staff would want it.)

Badly needed money versus not exposing our kids to yet more advertising. Or are they so saturated that they won't even notice?

Or can they just ride the bus home with their own thoughts? Or will it remind them they are hungry and they buy some chips on the way home because they saw the ad on the bus? Wait, we have a nutrition policy that might not allow food advertisements.

Thanks, legislators but I'd rather you tax soda and candy and gum before you put advertising on school buses. (I drink soda - I know, I know, it's liquid poison - and I'm willing to pay.)

(There is some irony to this because why don't the legislators just fully fund basic education in the first place so we don't need these dopey revenue streams?)


ArchStanton said…
Aw, hell no! Don't even... Especially not IN the buses! Heck, let's invite ChannelOne back, too - LCD displays on each seat back, just like airplanes! Woo-Hoo!

(I can hear the staff at CA salivating already)
Unknown said…
Maybe on the non door side? Kids wouldn't really see that much. Definitely not inside, kids have enough advertising all around them as is.
Hippy Goodwife said…
Exactly what ArchStanton said. There is enough advertising already.
Sue said…
I would also point out, that in case the brilliant minds in the legislature did not notice - advertising dollars are drying up and flying away in this recession. Who, exactly, is going to have the money to advertise on a school bus, that a district would allow?
Unknown said…
Sports franchises, tourism boards, arts organizations, banks, PSAs... really lots of things wouldn't be too offensive for school buses. Metro bus ads are very expensive but reach a wide audience (a group I belong to recently put together a bus ad campaign.) I'm not super pro-this, but I think it's not nearly the most appalling thing that is going on.
Lori said…
Wait, I know! Let's use buses to their maximal potential. How about also putting vending machines on those school buses for the long ride home? Ka-ching! (that's the sound of money being made)

Or better yet. Ever been on an international flight where they come thru with those carts with various knick-knacks you can buy duty-free? Let's do that on school buses! Kids can spend their allowance money buying cheap toys, gifts for their parents, whatever right there on the bus! Maybe even tax-free as an extra incentive. All proceeds are funneled back to the school.

And why stop with buses? Maybe we could do product placement in our curriculum too. Why does Everyday math use non-branded manipulatives? Forget about cookies and balloons, let's get paid to have our children add up how many Coca-colas little Johnny has and how many Krispy Kreme donuts are in a dozen. Now that is what I call Every Day Math!!
mkd said…
I know there is a lot going on with the new transition plan, SAP, etc., but I'd appreciate it if you could start a link dedicated to violence in the high schools. In the past two weeks, my kids have recounted some five or more fights at RBHS. Moreover, because of some "incident" (no one is saying what) PE classes for Sophomores have been suspended without notice until the end of the semester, lockers cleaned out and classes will not resume without a "supervisor" present in the changing room. From their friends' parents, I've heard that there has been a rash of petty theft from lockers. My younger son has also been harassed and bullied repeatedly at the metro stop. With all of the talk of quality schools, I want to know what SPS plans to do about student safety. I'm tired of the whitewash that SPS has been pushing down our throats. A little transparency please. Let's address the problems that exist before implementing a series of changes designed to make neighborhood schools sound more appealing.
mkd said…
Let me also weigh in on school bus advertising . . . think about it, "this test brought to you by Jack's Plumbing." Let's educate them before we indoctrinate them.
SolvayGirl said…
As someone who worked in advertising for years, I can say without doubt, NO! Our kids already have enough media influence. let's keep those yellow school buses free from consumerism.
Unknown said… I vote no. I am writing Kline right now.
southend girl said…
MKD, your posts break my heart. Definitely worth a separate thread. I cannot believe SPS is shoving this NSAP down our throats with no plan to make every school a quality school, let alone a safe one. I know several families who are planning to move or leave the district to avoid the scenarios you describe. It will be interesting to see how many of the kids "assigned" to Aki & RB actually give it a try next year. SPS has yet to produce any plan for improving under performing schools and obviously the dollars are not there to put behind any such plan should it magically materialize. What a train wreck.
seattle citizen said…
Bus rules:
*Do not throw paper...on the sides.
*No littering The Yellow Bus with trash.
*NO digital screens in the seatbacks.
Violators will be given detention.

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