Bill would allow advertisements on school activities buses

By Ava Wilhite

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) A change to state law could allow activities buses to carry advertisements.

"We're not going to put television screens in the back of seats or any of that other jazz we're putting these on the outside of out vehicles," said Assistant Superintendent of York County Schools Tony Cox. {}

Cox said they currently have ads on their school service vehicles, but they want state law to change so ads can be on activities buses as well.

Right now, the law prohibits selling ad space on school buses and activities buses, but that would change with a provision in the state budget. And it's a change at least one state lawmaker is against.

"I just don't believe our children need to be subjected to commercialization like that. I think that there are other ways to increase revenue or to seek revenue," said District 41 Sen. Paul Thurmond.

Cox said so far, the ads are paying off.{} He said they've raised almost $25,000 within a year and a half.{}

"If we were to sell all the space we have available with just our service vehicles we might conceivably generate as much as $85,000 to $100,000 a year in revenue," said Cox. {}

Cox said his district has strict guidelines as to what ads can be displayed on the service trucks, but the provision would allow each school district to create their own ad rules.

Thurmond said that's another issue.

"It's really a character-based message that has to do with education, that companies support of education and it really sets that company up as a community partner if you will," said Cox.

"The problem is what is obscene to me might be different than what's obscene to you," said Thurmond. {}