I rarely predict the future correctly, as the Sony Rolly on my bedside bureau will attest, but in my opinion school buses will soon be riddled with more ads than Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s NASCAR ride.
Cash-strapped public schools in the Dallas area are already plastering posters on buses and buildings. If it works there, it will be here before you can correctly recall the subtleties of long division.
So far, ads for banks, dentists and real estate have popped up.
Plenty of folks are alarmed, according to the Dallas Morning News.
School officials say they need new sources of funding due to state budget cuts.
“Under the current finances, I don’t think you can shy away from anything,” said Allen Independent School District spokesman Tim Carroll. “There’s a place for it when it can be done tastefully, especially in the context of a sporting venue. It’s not like we’re bringing in Hooters.”
I’m not sure how I feel about ads in schools. Anything that lowers the tax burden on those who don’t have kids in school would be a bonus in my book, but I fear school districts will simply find a way to spend more. As anyone who has ever covered government will tell you, spending has less to do with need than with preserving funding levels in next year’s budget.
Like the aforementioned Mr. Carroll, I think ads in schools can peacefully co-exist with young minds. Growing up, I seem to recall a number of ads on the Little League outfield wall, and even on my uniform, but I still managed to learn how to have an ERA higher than my shoe size.