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Senate Proposes Using School Buses As Rolling Billboards

Larry Darling

Indiana school buses might feature ads next year under a proposal added to the state budget.

The Senate unanimously endorsed a pilot program allowing three Indianapolis-area schools to sell ads on their buses last year, but the proposal was deleted during negotiations with the House.

The Senate is trying again this year, agreeing on a voice vote to add the authorization to the state budget.

Tax and Fiscal Policy Chairman Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek) says it‘s a way for school districts to get more money without taking it away from other schools. But he couldn’t say how much money would be raised.

But Sen. Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) says the move is a smokescreen by Republicans who aren’t giving some districts enough money to run the buses.

Under the school funding formula proposed in this year’s budget, many urban districts, including the Indianapolis Public Schools, stand to lose money, while some upscale districts in Hamilton County and elsewhere would get extra base funding.