Advertisements on school buses could come next year - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Senate debates placement of ads on school buses

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - In the upcoming school year, your child's bus could have an ad on it.

Right now the South Carolina Senate budget for the 2013-2014 school year has a clause allowing  advertisements on district-owned activity buses that transport kids to athletic competitions and other activities.

Ads would not be allowed on the state-owned yellow school buses that take kids to and from school. The ads would also only be allowed outside the bus for passing motorists to see. Lawmakers are debating it in Columbia and parents are weighing in.

"I wouldn't mind seeing ads for attractions at Myrtle Beach like Wonder Works or the aquarium or things that are educational, learning tools, things that are child friendly," said Stephanie Andrews.

"I'm opposed to it. I think it would bring too much attention to children on school buses, and I just wouldn't want anymore attention to kids on buses," said Darlene Bourges.

The Horry County School District dealt with a similar initiative several years ago, but it didn't go through. The district says at the time they thought it was not in the best interest to subject kids to the advertising.

School Board Chair Joe Defeo says times have changed and appropriate ads on buses could be beneficial because budgets are tight.

"As budgets get tighter and tighter and school boards have to make tougher choices I could certainly see it being and option," said Defeo.

Defeo said he would like to see ad money go back toward academics, but the ultimate decision would be up to the school board.

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