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Advertising on school buses in Austin
February 22, 2013 6:31 AM   Subscribe


 
Sounds like it'll be under $200 per ad. You could have some fun with that.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:41 AM on February 22, 2013


How much would it cost me to have them write "Fuck that noise" on the side on the bus?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:41 AM on February 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


This was a Daria episode. And maybe a Simpsons one too? I wish we'd just decide as a country that education is worth spending money on instead of this BS.
posted by emjaybee at 6:42 AM on February 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


Keep Fries Weird.
posted by stevil at 6:46 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am thinking of auctioning naming rights to my asshole. I figure Maher and Trump can get into a bidding war. For $5,000,000 I will officially have "Donald John Trump, Sr bowel movements," or as I prefer to call them...Trump dumps. The revenue stream should keep me in food for a while. Other worthy candidates: Rupert Murdoch and reddit.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:49 AM on February 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


I have to say I'm amazed schools haven't done this before now. If I had the spare cash, I'd buy a sign and slap one of my paintings on the side of the bus.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:51 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Advertising on young women's thighs in Tokyo.
posted by notyou at 6:53 AM on February 22, 2013


I wish we'd just decide as a country that education is worth spending money on...

"We" have decided that. The Destructively Low Taxes Noise Machine won't let us.
posted by DU at 6:55 AM on February 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


Interesting that one of the advertisers is a private school.
posted by Vetinari at 6:57 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have a plan to save municipalities nationwide: City and town naming rights. Omaha, Nebraska can be Exxon #1, soon other towns will follow. Muncie, Indiana: Shell Oil #434, New Kensington, Pennsylvania: McDonald's #15. Bigger cities can be #1 and as companies name the towns after themselves they just add a number. It'll leave towns and cities flush with naming rights cash. It may slightly affect visitors to the city because it's hard to tell Shell Oil #434 from Shell Oil #435, maps, exits, etc., all more confusing. But fuck it because corporations.
posted by IvoShandor at 6:58 AM on February 22, 2013


I say we all go in on an ad. It'll read:

"This disgraceful ad on an school bus is what happens when you slash school funding, you ignorant bastards!"

i am entirely serious about this.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:59 AM on February 22, 2013 [34 favorites]


Save Ferris
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:59 AM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


My oldest has to take the city bus to middle school, and I have to pay $100 each for each semester for the younger two to ride the regular school bus. Remember when that shit was free? Good times.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:02 AM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait. This is Eanes ISD, one of the richest school districts in the area. WTF?
posted by kmz at 7:08 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't see why the bus should be free. It's parents responsibility to get the kids to school. Free public schools are a net benefit to society, even our poorly run schools in the US. My mother claims she had to walk 2 miles each way back in the 50s because her mother would not spend a quarter a week for the bus. I don't know if that was a odd thing about where she grew up, or if bus fees were common in the 50s. I don't have any problem with a nominal fee for bus service, with some sort of vetting program so that those kids whose families truly can't afford it won't be left out. $100 a semester is $25 a month. Skip one dinner out a month and you've covered the bus for the semester.

(Not picking on you Brocktoon - just using your number as the example)
posted by COD at 7:09 AM on February 22, 2013


I guess I don't really get the outrage. They sold ads to help pay for the High School Yearbook, iirc, and the school newspaper. There are vending machines in many schools. There's Channel One and lots of branded curricula.

And I think I've seen one or two adverts for local business hanging from the outfield fences at school ball fields.

In fact, I think I'd welcome adverts on the school bus if it meant removing adverts from inside the schoolhouse.
posted by notyou at 7:09 AM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]






I have a plan to save municipalities nationwide: City and town naming rights.

Oh, please. Think naming rights for and advertising tattoos on all school children! Of course, better class students would get more luxury brands. Perhaps a good GPA would be necessary for the most premium marks. NCLB - No Cashflow Left Behind.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:18 AM on February 22, 2013


Sounds like it'll be under $200 per ad. You could have some fun with that.

Anybody up for an Atheist bus campaign?
posted by Skeptic at 7:18 AM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


This will not cause any giggles among school children.
I don't have any problem with a nominal fee for bus service, with some sort of vetting program so that those kids whose families truly can't afford it won't be left out. $100 a semester is $25 a month. Skip one dinner out a month and you've covered the bus for the semester.
People who don't prioritize education tend to produce children that don't value education, perpetuating the cycle.
Sounds like it'll be under $200 per ad. You could have some fun with that.
Can the program even create a net benefit for the school at that rate? I haven't done large-format printing in a while, but $200 seems cheap for the sign alone. Also, the FAQ informs us that the district has final say over the ads.
I guess I don't really get the outrage. They sold ads to help pay for the High School Yearbook, iirc, and the school newspaper. There are vending machines in many schools. There's Channel One and lots of branded curricula.
Yeah, I came here for the outrage, but left disappointed. At most, I'm disappointed that the advertising rate seems to be so low. Creative funding sources for schools are a good thing so long as they don't adversely impact the education of the kids.
posted by b1tr0t at 7:20 AM on February 22, 2013


Wow I never would have guessed this was a thing.

Imagine how much money they could raise with ads on the President's limo and Air Force One.
posted by Mitheral at 7:21 AM on February 22, 2013


I say we all go in on an ad.

You take paypal? I'll double my amount if you can arrange to post a photo of the bus.
posted by DU at 7:22 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


This sort of thing makes my blood boil. Here in Toronto the TTC recently approved subway station naming rights and gigantic bus ads. None of the stations have been renamed (yet), but every time I see a TTC bus go by with ads plastered all over the exterior I'm embarrassed for the society I live in, one that would rather slap ads over public infastructure as a stopgap (and insufficient) funding solution than properly fund things like transportation and, in this case, education.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:22 AM on February 22, 2013


I guess I don't really get the outrage. They sold ads to help pay for the High School Yearbook, iirc, and the school newspaper. There are vending machines in many schools. There's Channel One and lots of branded curricula.

Once you accept these things, well then sure put them on the school buses too. Let's advertise to everyone, everywhere, ever. The free market shall intrude its tentacles into every nook and cranny of the public, and this is right and good! Commercials (in my town now with new, ever-more-distracting video screens!), billboards, bench backs, flyers, marquees, sponsorship signs, and the names of all public buildings! Let's cover the walls of maternity wards with Cap'n Crunch and the Trix Rabbit, and the inside lid of coffins with images of competing visions of the afterlife!

And about that coffin, hurry it up, I'm tired.
posted by JHarris at 7:22 AM on February 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm frankly surprised that all of these stories are from almost two years ago and we had to wait until NOW to express our outrage! Why didn't any of our eagle-eyed members spot this sooner? I have all this spleen to vent and you made me wait!

My dad is an elementary school principal. To save money the local ISD had him retire, then he was hired by a contracting company to do the exact same job at the same pay. But because he retired first, the contractor actually pays him less in total benefits because they don't contribute to his pension, and the ISD is saving money because the contractor's fees are thus less than they were paying him directly. They also sold off all the buses and now use a busing company to shuttle students, because the economics of maintaining a bus fleet didn't make as much sense as pooling buses between local communities; the larger scale of the operation makes it cost-effective because maintenance costs are split between districts instead of all dumped on one location when a bus craps out.

Their most recent smart move was to consolidate the elementary schools. There used to be three. They closed one, and moved all the kids to the other two. Grades have been split so that younger kids end up at one school, and all the older kids go to the other one. The building my dad worked at for two decades is a few blocks from his house; the building run by the other remaining principal for just as long is basically across the street from her house. So the obvious solution was to make them each start working at the school furthest from where they live. I think this may change eventually, but after all the work my dad put in updating the building, it seems dumb that he doesn't even get to work there any more; plus every day he now gets to look at the decorations the other principal added to her old school. They are not exactly his style. But he feels like he can't remove them out of respect for the other principal. No idea if she feels the same about his old building.

Some moves make sense. Advertising on buses? Well, honestly they are pretty visible, will have a negligible impact on students (this isn't like McDonald's is sponsoring the cafeteria, right?) and are at least targeting local businesses. Seems like a pretty low-risk way to bring in some money. You have to understand that for all the talk about how important children and education are to this country, talk is about all you ever get. School funds are usually first on the chopping block when austerity measures are discussed (see Florida under the current tool of a governor, for example). Teacher wages are usually next to go (lots of talk about how well they get paid without any acknowledgement that the pay is generally shitty commensurate to the qualifications currently demanded - would you put in the work to earn a Masters degree to make what teachers make in a year, knowing that the job workload demands so much unpaid overtime?). And forget about millage increases. Just try getting the average community to agree to a 1/1000 of a dollar increase in their property taxes. It will not happen. Millage increases are almost always doomed to failure by the selfish people who fail to understand that increasing education levels in the community is good for everyone even if you do not personally have children. If one teacher's job can be spared by slapping an ad on a bus, I say go for it, and good on you for coming up with the idea.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:23 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't have any problem with a nominal fee for bus service, with some sort of vetting program so that those kids whose families truly can't afford it won't be left out. $100 a semester is $25 a month. Skip one dinner out a month and you've covered the bus for the semester.

This is like the rallying cry of the last 30 years: Taxes? No fucking way; they are evil, destructive and communist. Fees? Perfectly OK.

Like there's any fucking difference.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:24 AM on February 22, 2013 [10 favorites]


They sold ads to help pay for the High School Yearbook, iirc, and the school newspaper.
When I wrote for my high-school newspaper, we were proud to carry ads because it meant we were paying for our own publication, and weren't (as) beholden to the school administration. Somehow I doubt the school buses care about editorial independence.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:28 AM on February 22, 2013


Like there's any fucking difference.

With fees, you can privatise the service and hand over a lucrative monopoly to one of your cronies.
posted by Skeptic at 7:29 AM on February 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


> This is like the rallying cry of the last 30 years: Taxes? No fucking way; they are evil, destructive and communist. Fees? Perfectly OK.

Like there's any fucking difference.


The difference is that a lot of people don't mind fees because they're paying directly for something instead of having to throw money into a communal pot, some of which will go to...those people. You know the ones I mean. The kicker is that the fees usually wind up costing them more, but you know the saying about how many people will be content with living in a box under a bridge if they know the guy under the other bridge doesn't even have a box.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:29 AM on February 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


I don't have any problem with a nominal fee for bus service, with some sort of vetting program so that those kids whose families truly can't afford it won't be left out.

That would add government bureaucracy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:30 AM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Of course there is a difference; fees are much more regressive in general letting the got mine cohort keep their gains.
posted by Mitheral at 7:31 AM on February 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


COD: “I don't see why the bus should be free. It's parents responsibility to get the kids to school. Free public schools are a net benefit to society, even our poorly run schools in the US.”

Er – you do understand that the first and last sentences here are contradictory, right? School is not actually "free" if you have to pay to get the kid there. This is like those too-good-to-be-trye eBay auctions where it turns out the shipping fee for a one-inch sprocket is $200. Not "free" at all.
posted by koeselitz at 7:31 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, honestly they are pretty visible, will have a negligible impact on students

It actually has a tremendous impact on students; it's just harder to measure, so it gets discounted, like all hard-to-measure things, like quality of education and emotional health.

(this isn't like McDonald's is sponsoring the cafeteria, right?)

AHEM.

and are at least targeting local businesses.

The key phrase here is at least.

Seems like a pretty low-risk way to bring in some money.

Money is more important than piece of mind and neutral surfaces, sure. Money is a quantum substance, indivisible and primal. Money is the ultimate fetish object, altar and god, the End Objective of all human endeavor.

Money doesn't exist.
posted by JHarris at 7:32 AM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


The difference is that a lot of people don't mind fees because they're paying directly for something instead of having to throw money into a communal pot, some of which will go to...those people.

The difference is that a lot of people don't mind it when other people have to pay fees...

Fixed that for you.
posted by orange swan at 7:33 AM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


GOLDEN PALACE CASINO INDEPENDENT STUDY AIDE
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:38 AM on February 22, 2013


> I don't see why the bus should be free. It's parents responsibility to get the kids to school. Free public schools are a net benefit to society, even our poorly run schools in the US

If you accept that free public schools are a good thing, why start selecting which bits are going to be free and which bits are going to be charged for? What if it weren't buses, but was gym class? Or math class? Or art supplies?

There's no reason to separate out transportation as a luxury, other than that it sort of feels different because it doesn't happen in the school building.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:42 AM on February 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


The difference is that a lot of people don't mind fees because they're paying directly for something instead of having to throw money into a communal pot, some of which will go to...those people.

The difference is that a lot of people don't mind it when other people have to pay fees...


Exactly. The difference is that it appeals to the short sighted objectivist knuckleheads who think "why should I pay school taxes when I don't have any kids in school".
posted by ceribus peribus at 7:44 AM on February 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


Just an FYI - they aren't selling ad space in Austin proper - just on Bastrop ISD buses.

Anybody up for an Atheist bus campaign?

See also.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:45 AM on February 22, 2013


It's ridiculous to even be having the conversation. Heading to the capitol in downtown Austin tomorrow for this very reason.
posted by PuppyCat at 7:46 AM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's also the case that if you believe free public education to be a good, you have to provide the student with the ability to access that public education. Without the bus, a lot of students aren't accessing their education.

It's also true that in the United States, a school district that receives federal funds may be required to provide transportation for special education students, if the students require transportation services to benefit from the offered education.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:47 AM on February 22, 2013


"We thought this would be a good way to ... be more involved in the community."

That would be "free plumbing services for our elderly and disadvantaged", not paying to put an ad up.
posted by crapmatic at 7:47 AM on February 22, 2013


I have a plan to save municipalities nationwide: City and town naming rights.

School board members and city officials also aren't free, are they? They ought to be paid for by selling the naming rights to them. For a start, we could find the people who are responsible for putting advertising on school buses and pay to have them all legally renamed "Cheap Fucker oldfirstname oldlastname".
posted by pracowity at 7:47 AM on February 22, 2013


Governor Perry (or Governor Goodhair as Saint Ivins called him) slashed the education budget by more than $5 billion to advance his Tea Party credentials as a tax cutter . . . of course an educated citizendry might make the election of his ilk much less likely.
posted by ahimsakid at 7:51 AM on February 22, 2013


There's no reason to separate out transportation as a luxury, other than that it sort of feels different because it doesn't happen in the school building.

Could it be because families with less money send their kids to school on the bus and families with more money drive their kids to school? When Mrs Soccer Mom brings her kids to school in a big shiny SUV every morning, maybe it gets her goat to see those other kids (and therefore their families) getting what she sees as a free ride.
posted by pracowity at 7:55 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


1) Where's that science fiction story in which grandma violates the rules about paying attention to advertising so often that she gets sent to prison -- says she doesn't mind because that's the only way she can get away from the advertising jingles that play from every box in the cupboard, every container in the refrigerator, every shoe in the closet saying "use me, buy more of me" -- and her son muses on that --and sets up a new advertising program inside prisons ....


2) Advertising on schoolbuses?
-- A stationary big yellow bus always meant Look, maybe STOP" -- now I'm going to have to stop for every damn overbright blinking LED billboard and look twice to make sure it's not a schoolbus loading or unloading children.
posted by hank at 8:01 AM on February 22, 2013


> Could it be because families with less money send their kids to school on the bus and families with more money drive their kids to school? When Mrs Soccer Mom brings her kids to school in a big shiny SUV every morning, maybe it gets her goat to see those other kids (and therefore their families) getting what she sees as a free ride

Hmmm. The people I know who drive their kids to school do it (as far as I know) either because they've chosen to send them to a school other than their neighborhood one -- which is problematic in its own way -- or because their kid gets dropped off early for one reason or another, such as before-school childcare or an activity. I'm a suburban soccer mom with a big shiny (well, filthy, actually) minivan and when I have to drive my kids to school it feels like a burden on me.

If my kid's buses had ads on the sides I would be furious. It would look like the school district was endorsing the company, and it would be advertising aimed at children -- which would be illegal, if I were in charge of things.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:04 AM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's no reason to separate out transportation as a luxury, other than that it sort of feels different because it doesn't happen in the school building.

Providing a comprehensive education is something that is beyond the ability of most parents to provide on their own. Getting the kids to school by 8 AM isn't as big a challenge for many families. We lived in a neighborhood where you could see the freaking elementary school from our street, yet the kids were required to take the "free" bus which spent 25 minutes winding around other streets to arrive at the school. The kids could have a walked there in 5-10 minutes. The reality of 2013 is that government is over extended. Would I like to slash defense spending 80% and spread that money to needed social services? Absolutely. However, it simply is not going to happen. If advertising on buses or charging for bus service saves some money for new textbooks or more resources for teachers I'm all for it.
posted by COD at 8:04 AM on February 22, 2013


Here to purchase your own ad.

Must resist...
posted by crocodiletsunami at 8:05 AM on February 22, 2013


I don't see why the bus should be free. It's parents responsibility to get the kids to school.

Goddamn it. My kid rides a bus because walking to school or riding his bike on the roads around here would be Instant Death, and it's too far anyway. The bus is efficient and gets him there on time, unlike me driving 10 miles out of my way and idling my engine in the drop off-lane. And then having to get someone to pick him up because I sure don't get off work when school ends.

I pay a fee. It's called taxes. It's a lot better deal than if I had to pay a separate fee every month--it's cheaper overall and I don't have to worry that if I lose my job, or my car breaks down, my kid can't get to school.

But fuck poor kids, right? They can just stay home and get ready to do lawn work for rich people. If their parents have jobs to do or money troubles or there's no safe way to get to school, fuck 'em. I got mine!
posted by emjaybee at 8:05 AM on February 22, 2013 [15 favorites]


A well regulated Education System, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep learning and gain education, shall not be infringed.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:19 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's also true that in the United States, a school district that receives federal funds may be required to provide transportation for special education students, if the students require transportation services to benefit from the offered education.

I'd be curious to know if this kicks in without an IEP. When I was in eighth grade, I took history at the high school. There was one other kid in a similar situation. The way the school days were timed meant that there was a bus driver who did his junior high route, went to the high school, got the two of us and took us to the junior high. Given how hard the junior high fought against the idea of letting us go to the high school for one class, it's pretty shocking that they didn't fight over transportation, but, as far as I know, they didn't. So I wonder if we fell under the special ed provision because by letting us go to the high school, they were admitting they couldn't provide adequate education for us. (The high school was its own school district for some reason that I don't fully understand.)
posted by hoyland at 8:19 AM on February 22, 2013


> the kids were required to take the "free" bus

One school in my district recommends that kids take the bus because that neighborhood has no sidewalks and busy street goes right in front of the school, but how do they require the children to take the bus? Are the kids turned away if they show up on foot or get dropped off?
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:22 AM on February 22, 2013


For all the noise, I'm not seeing anything particularly objectionable. Sounds like a reasonable way to raise money.
posted by 2N2222 at 8:24 AM on February 22, 2013


------------------------------------------------------------------

This ad is on this bus because you won't pay for education.

------------------------------------------------------------------
posted by Thorzdad at 8:31 AM on February 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Are the kids turned away if they show up on foot or get dropped off?

Kids were not allowed to walk to school. It was all neighborhood streets too, max speed limit 25. I don't know what they would do if some kid just walked over. I didn't have any kids in the school.
posted by COD at 8:43 AM on February 22, 2013


Save Ferris
posted by Confess, Fletch


..but everybody's done that 'up the little guy' thing, to the point that he's not a little guy - he's Ferris. He is the ideal. What we strive for. Popularity without pretence. He is the Path and the Destination. He who would donate his eyes to Stevie Wonder. Our Hero, The Giver Of Ideas.

It is time for us to look at the world outside ourselves now we are all become Ferris, and it is Good. It is time, truly, for us not to be meek, and pinched, but to be Bold. It is time to look at the unfortunate that oppress the weak and stand up against them. Yes, it is time to raise our heads and voices and all be Righteous Dudes and speak the words so that all will hear and take strength:

"Rooney Eats It!!"
posted by Zack_Replica at 8:43 AM on February 22, 2013


That would work only if there was some horribly offensive picture to go along with it. Otherwise the people who don't want to pay taxes would say that it was proof the system was working.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:44 AM on February 22, 2013


For all the noise, I'm not seeing anything particularly objectionable. Sounds like a reasonable way to raise money.

It implies an endorsement of a business in young minds in a place of learning.

It's another step to commercializing everything and giving too much power to businesses. What happens when a business decides it doesn't like a certain textbook the school uses and threatens to pull its business? We're putting the education of children up for sale to who whoever has the most dollars.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:54 AM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


For all the noise, I'm not seeing anything particularly objectionable.

What would you find "particularly objectionable"?
posted by adamdschneider at 8:58 AM on February 22, 2013


I used to live in the borders of Eanes ISD, which is a suburban district, and I read the articles and assumed they were using the bus ads to fund some sort of extras, because it's not like Eanes is a poor district.

I'm pretty sure that there are districts in Texas that would be/are funding textbooks and basic supplies with school bus ad money. That's outrageous, and a sign of our legislative and administrative failures here in the national laboratory for bad government.
posted by immlass at 9:08 AM on February 22, 2013


I have no problem with this. The kids are inside the bus. The ad for a plumber is outside the bus. I don't think many kids are in need of a plumber. If it were an ad for Coke or Disney though, I would have a problem with it.

How is this all that different from city bus ads? Around here those are usually ads for radio stations (so drivers see the ad and change the channel) or ads for other local government services (who must get them for very cheap).
posted by miyabo at 9:18 AM on February 22, 2013


Holy carp:
So far, the community response has been positive, Wellman said, with five businesses involved, including Chick-fil-A, Bee Caves Dermatology, Lake Hills Montessori School and Radiant Plumbing.
Advertising a private school on a public school bus. If that's not hilarious...
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:30 AM on February 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


> I have no problem with this. The kids are inside the bus. The ad for a plumber is outside the bus. I don't think many kids are in need of a plumber. If it were an ad for Coke or Disney though, I would have a problem with it. How is this all that different from city bus ads?

The kids have stood and stared at the outside of the bus while waiting to get inside the bus. I don't even understand what the connection is.

As far as city bus ads: well, I don't like those either. But anyway, a big difference is that the ads will be aimed at children. If you believe it's going to stay plumbing ads and not become entirely ads for junk food and toys, I have another ad space to sell you.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:48 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


COD:I don't have any problem with a nominal fee for bus service, with some sort of vetting program so that those kids whose families truly can't afford it won't be left out. $100 a semester is $25 a month. Skip one dinner out a month and you've covered the bus for the semester.

Sounds so simple doesn't it, some sort of vetting program. Just get the parents who can afford it to pay, job done.

So you'll need to find someone to administer it all-- you're going to need proof from parents who want the free option, so they'll have to come to the school, talk through their finances-- what proof are you going to require? You'll have to chase them up if they don't have the right info, more wasted time.

Then you actually need to decide what 'rich enough' means, probably a lot of meetings for that and that's going to change every year, maybe factor in distance too? And you'll need to collect payments, send all that to your accountant who's not cheap.

If a parent loses their job, would they need a refund? Probably right? At least for the remainder of the term? So they'll need to come down again for a meeting and prove they're now unemployed.

Should we give kids bus passes too? because we're going to need a printer for that-- Bob lives next to Sally, but Bob's parents normally take him by car so opted out of the bus program, and we don't want Bob free loading when his parents are ill, or do we? Maybe we can back charge them at the end of the term for the day's he's used.

Either way, we'll need the bus driver to keep a register of all the kids aboard each day, keep that filed away neatly in the office, he's a kind man, and we think he lets some kids that usually walk on when it's raining-- that's costing us money, it's unfair to those who are paying.

Oh, and what if too many free people are using it, do the costs go up on the paying parents to cover the deficit? We're not a charity after all.

All the little red tape, all the hours of administrative time, accounts, dealing with parents, time spent running in circles when all those people involved could actually be doing something productive, all those hours are going to mount up, all because someone just didn't say "Screw that, lets make it as easy as possible for kids to get to school in our suburban hellscape".
posted by Static Vagabond at 9:53 AM on February 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


MY KID IS A CHICK-FIL-A STUDENT AT RADIANT PLUMBING LEARNING CENTER
posted by gompa at 11:06 AM on February 22, 2013 [14 favorites]


What would you find "particularly objectionable"?

Poverty. Hatred. Ignorance. Violence. Advertising doesn't even register.

It implies an endorsement of a business in young minds in a place of learning.

Not really, as it's a stretch to call the outside of a motor vehicle a place of learning. But let's assume that it is a place of learning. What can one learn? One can learn that advertising is something to be viewed critically. One can learn that schools and transportation are not actually free.

It's another step to commercializing everything and giving too much power to businesses. What happens when a business decides it doesn't like a certain textbook the school uses and threatens to pull its business? We're putting the education of children up for sale to who whoever has the most dollars.


I'd say address the slippery slope when it appears. Bus advertisers are not dictating curriculum at this point.
posted by 2N2222 at 11:13 AM on February 22, 2013


Bus advertisers are not dictating curriculum at this point.

You don't think churches are going to get in on this?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:33 AM on February 22, 2013


I don't have any problem with a nominal fee for bus service, with some sort of vetting program so that those kids whose families truly can't afford it won't be left out. $100 a semester is $25 a month. Skip one dinner out a month and you've covered the bus for the semester.

Gah. Static Vagabond already pointed out what an administrative challenge that would be. Me, I'm just going to push back hard any time someone suggests anything that would make it just that much harder for stressed out, financially strapped parents to get their kids to school. Public school. Schools (including bus systems) financed by taxes that the majority of adults pay because it's worth it to society to have an educated population. Screw the slow creep of corporations into public schools, including this insidious ads-on-buses plan. We -- and by "we" I mean adults, taxpayers, citizens, all of us -- should be falling all over ourselves to get every single kid to a well-funded public school on time every day of the year (barring upset tummies and explosive sneezing) to play clarinet and t-ball as well as learn the three Rs taught by teachers who don't need to moonlight as waitstaff at the local Red Robin.
posted by vverse23 at 11:35 AM on February 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is ridiculous. We need less intrusive advertising in our culture, not more. And the message that schools and transportation are not actually free can be taught in US history class. We have a civil society in part because we have a reasonable system of laws, respect for individuals, and a solid social and physical infrastructure paid for by taxes. Taxes, not fucking Chick-Fil-A ads on the side of my kid's bus. If we want to simplify the tax code or increase the visibility of where taxes go, great. But we don't need to dismantle the system.
posted by freecellwizard at 11:40 AM on February 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Jeez, won't somebody please think of the children? The cute little germbags would make excellent advertising platforms.
posted by nowhere man at 12:09 PM on February 22, 2013


We need less intrusive advertising...

Is it the intrusiveness that you object to or the advertising? I don't much care for advertising either but I like that they're being up front about it. Would you prefer they do it less intrusively? I can image some really annoying stuff like paying teachers to do product placement in the classroom.

"Johnny has two Cokes and Sally has three Sprites, how many drinks do they have together?"
posted by Confess, Fletch at 12:10 PM on February 22, 2013


I'd say address the slippery slope when it appears.

There's been enough slippery slopes in terms of advertisers and advertising, I'm surprised that anyone thinks we should until another example of it comes up before we do anything.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:19 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Every aspect of education should be free. Especially if it's as important to society as you say it is. But clearly bombing the shit out of brown people is more important.
posted by Brocktoon at 12:45 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder if they'd accept a matching ad buy: say you want to put an "It Gets Better" campaign ad on every bus that has a Chick-Fil-A ad.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:21 PM on February 22, 2013


There's been enough slippery slopes in terms of advertisers and advertising, I'm surprised that anyone thinks we should until another example of it comes up before we do anything.
A while back, I was wandering around a medieval English cathedral when a tour guide pointed something out to his group: a section of the wall that was covered in gaudily-colored family crests. Banner ads from the families that contributed to the upkeep of the cathedral.

So, yeah, it's kind of more of a slippery plane we are on with advertisers and advertising.

And those stacks of NAVY book covers we got in 5th grade? With the glossy photos of F18s and F14s zooming into the air off of aircraft carriers? What was that all about?
posted by b1tr0t at 1:25 PM on February 22, 2013


Advertising on young women's thighs in Tokyo.

I am pretty sure this is a hoax. First of all, nobody is buying ad space on miniskirted girl's thighs in the middle of winter in Japan. These are carefully prepared advertising photos that look like they were taken in the summer, or perhaps somewhere more tropical.

I tracked this to its apparent source, a Japanese blog article of questionable authority, dated 1/27/2013. It points at other sources, and I thought it might be true until I saw the offer of free men's underwear with advertising on it. Even the girls' ad agency seems sketchy, photos from different girls all look like the work of the same photographer and design studio.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:01 PM on February 22, 2013


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