Eanes ISD Placing Ads on School Buses

Eanes ISD Placing Ads on School Buses

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It's a sign of the times. Districts are selling ad space on buses to increase revenue.

"They've always had advertising, they've had it in ballparks in the back of t-shirts, this is just a different format," said Cynthia Calvert with Steep Creek Media.

The company is now helping Eanes ISD on this new business venture. Calvert has worked with districts across the state who are also looking for ways to stay above water. Eanes ISD is expecting an $8-10 Million shortfall.

"This first year we'll save one teaching job and for every teacher that's saved the better we for the instruction that's in the classroom," said Nola Wellman, Easnes ISD Superintendent.

She says once the fleet is complete the ads are expected to make up to $100, 000 in revenue a year.

As of Thursday Eanes had put up ads on five of their buses. It's everything from ads for national chains to local businesses. Sarah Casebier is co-owner of radiant plumbing. She says the benefit of the now-moving billboard is two fold.

"We know there are budget problems going on right now so this is just a neat way to support the community and we know that we're going to see the return on the investment too so we love it," said Casebier.

However, not just everyone can get on the side of a bus. Wellman says they will only consider family friendly ads. Their first priority, she says, to protect kids.

"We have a committee that works through and we have some standards that we've gone through in terms of the kinds of things we want" said Wellman.

For bus safety purposes the signs could only be posted on the driver's side, keeping the side where students enter and exit the bus untouched. Across Austin ads on school buses are already bringing in revenue. Hutto ISD rolled them out on six of their buses last week.

"The first six ads are generating about 730 dollars a month, as they go up that number will increase. We have an estimate in the first couple of years of about $60, 000 in additional revenue," said Emily Boswell, Hutto ISD spokesman.

Just like every district awaiting state funds, Hutto is expected to face a $4 to 8 million shortfall. Boswell says the ads can help soften the blow.
 

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