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|OPSB entertains selling advertising on school buses|
The Ouachita Parish School Board will determine if it can allow advertisements on its school buses as a way to increase revenue.
The school board on Tuesday asked for staff to check with the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education about its policies concerning advertisements on school buses.
Action was taken at the school board's regular meeting after discussion with a local entrepreneur, Kerry Stepp.
He currently is employed with the company that handles advertisements for the city of Monroe's bus benches.
He told the school board that there are other school systems in the country that allow advertisements on the outside and inside of their school buses.
He suggested the option might be a way for Ouachita Parish Schools to earn some additional revenue and help pay for diesel for its bus fleet.
School board member Susan Spence seemed receptive of the idea.
"I've heard of other school boards wanting to do this because it's an option out there," Spence said. "One of the things about this advertising is it should be kid appropriate."
"I know in my line of work with food services (at Morehouse Parish School System) that's a very competitive environment," Spence continued. "That would be a great way to get Tyson and different companies to advertise."
The school board was told that a school system in Arizona charges $260 per sign on its school buses.
They also were informed that this form of advertising would not cost the school system any money.
Skeeter Boyd, transportation supervisor for the school system, said there are strict regulations concerning signs on school buses.
"We would have to get approval from the state department to even think about it, mainly because of the distraction and safety issues," Boyd said. "They want the bus the same color, with the same signs, no changes."
"The state BESE board has passed a statute stating no signs on buses," Boyd added.
Spence suggested the school board ask BESE for permission to allow advertisements on its school buses.
"It's a new day and time and at least we can ask," she said. "I'd hate not to look into it if it's an option we can pursue."
Boyd responded, "It doesn't hurt to ask, but I think there would be some controversy with putting anything different on a school bus."
Board member Carey Walker said advertisements on school buses also pose some safety concerns.