Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown defends advertising on school buses

After last week’s proposition of raising money for schools by extending bar hours, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown introduced another bill Thursday intended to raise funds for the district in an unconventional way – advertising on school buses.

“I intend to make this continued quest to identify nontraditional solutions for our schools a centerpiece of my work in this new term in City Council,” she said in a statement. “I believe the responsible task is to exhaust all other potential resources as far as new dollars for the School District,” she added yesterday after the meeting. “Even if you argue it’s just a drop in a bucket, that drop may fund a music teacher or a physical education program.”

Also similar to last week’s bill, the legislation would require Harrisburg approval, as PennDOT regulates school buses.

Though the idea has raised some criticism, Reynolds Brown said that advertising on the sides and back of school buses has successfully raised revenue in other states, including New Jersey, which began the practice last year and helped give Reynolds Brown the idea.

“It’s written into the legislation that we would stipulate the content in place and structure what the ads look like,” she said, so there will be no endorsements promoting inappropriate content.

As with her other legislation, she said she is open to suggestions and nothing is set in stone. “I think it’s important to at least talk about it and have the conversation,” she said. “Then we can streamline the legislation to be more acceptable to the mainstream.”

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