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School Bus Ads Get Rolling In New Jersey

JACKSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Bus advertisements could be coming soon to a school near you.

Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill into law two years ago allowing ads on school buses.

The Jackson School District is among those jumping on the bandwagon, CBS2's Christine Sloan reported.

"People are in line with looking to advertise on a bus because our bus travels through a multitude of communities," said schools Superintendent Stephen Genco.

Like other districts looking to close budget gaps, Jackson is forced to deal with a 2-percent cap on property taxes, which fund schools in New Jersey.

Genco said the district has made $20,000 in the past seven or eight months on the advertising, "and we haven't really been all that aggressive."

Over time, the superintendent said bus ads could bring in several hundred thousand dollars, paying for supplies and even new teachers.

Jack Calkin, whose nonprofit organization connects advertisers with school districts, said the district receives 65 percent of the advertising revenue while his group earns 35 percent.

About 21 districts in New Jersey have signed up with the company to put ads on their buses, including West Milford and Wayne. Sayreville is also considering turning to advertising.

But not everyone is thrilled about the idea.

"Schools isn't really a good place to target kind of things like that," said father Devon McGrady, adding a lesser tax bill would not sway his opinion.

"I think it's a hazard for the children," one man said. "People be looking up at the advertisement and not paying attention to her driving."

Genco said research shows no link between accidents and bus ads.

While districts can advertise soft drinks, alcohol, tobacco, religious and political ads are prohibited.

New Jersey is the seventh state to allow bus ads. Half the money made from the ads goes toward gas for the buses.


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