More school bus ads. What next?

As the story linked below indicates, more budgetstrapped school districts are selling ad space on their school buses to generate limited amounts of new revenue. Some people may disagree, but I find most ads on metro buses in Austin, where I live, rolling eyesores. I can’t blame the districts, though.

Maybe next, districts will start naming schools for business sponsors, names like Starbuck’s High School, Discount Cleaners Middle School or ABC Car Wash Elementary.

Just kidding. I hope.

Media companies, meanwhile, are cashing in on the schools’ financial plight as they sell and design the ads for a cut of the action. One media owner is quoted as saying ads involving certain things – like alcohol, tobacco, religion or politics – won’t be considered.

I don’t know if that’s decreed by state law or school district policy, and I can understand why alcohol, tobacco and religion would be taboo. But why politics?

All those legislators who voted to slash the public education budget could start spending big chunks of their political cash to plaster reelection ads on school buses. It’s the least they could do, right?

Right. Until you realize they would design ads bragging about their strong support of the public schools, and we all know that for most incumbent lawmakers those ads would be packs of lies and real eysores.


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