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South Carolina School Buses May Get Ads


January 10, 2008


ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Children riding the school bus in South Carolina could soon be reading more than just their text books on the way to school.

The state has entered an agreement with an advertising company to allow billboard-style ads inside school buses.

The ads would appear above each window along the roof line, on both sides of the bus.

School officials in Rock Hill received an e-mail when they returned from Christmas break from an Aiken-based advertising company called SAC.

Luanne Kokolis with the Rock Hill school district says it's an exciting opportunity.

"Any time you have a revenue stream at no cost at all to the district, that's exciting," she said.

The company told school officials that the district could make $150,000 a year off the advertising profits at no expense.

Parents said that money could be used for buying new school buses, or installing security cameras, which Rock Hill is trying to do right now.

Noreen Ruff has a 6 and 9-year old who ride the bus.

"If we're going to raise money for having ads on the buses, if they're going to use the money wisely, then I think it's a good choice," she said.

Kokolis said the ads would have to meet strict standards, and a committee would sit down and approve or reject each one.

"I would hope they'd be educational, and help children learn, such as ads from institutions of higher learning, she said.

Kokolis said she wouldn't expect to see ads for toys or junk food. The Rock Hill school board has not seen the plan yet, but could look at it in the next few months.

The ads would only be allowed inside the buses, and not plastered outside for other drivers to see. About 675,000 school students ride 5,000 buses in South Carolina every day.



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