Allowing Kenutucky school buses to be rolling advertisments clears first hurdle

01/10/2012 01:43 PM

FRANKFORT — For the second year in a row, state lawmakers are toying with the idea of allowing school districts to sell certain ads to put on school buses.

The House Education Committee approved the latest draft of the bill Tuesday morning.

Democratic state Representative Terry Mills of Marion County said he wants to give school districts the option of selling the ads.

Mills cited news reports in Colorado that said districts there have earned between $5,000 and $10,000 per bus, per year.

That could mean as much as a couple hundred thousand dollars for smaller districts in Kentucky — or millions of dollars for Jefferson County.

Still, some lawmakers expressed skepticism about plastering ads all over school buses. Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Rockfield, said he was worried about whether the ads would distract other drivers — or take away from the buses’ distinctive look.

House education panel approves new teacher evaluation bill

Also Tuesday, the house education committee unanimously passed a bill that would change how public school teachers are evaluated.

The committee’s chairman, Rep. Carl Rollins, proposed the bill with the new system in which teachers could evaluate some of their peers to focus more on performance.

Kentucky lost points in the U.S. Department of Education’s “Race to the Top” grant competition for not having a better teacher evaluation process and for not allowing charter schools.

Rollins, a Democrat from Midway, said he expects the measure to pass the House, but he’s not sure what kind of a future the teacher evaluation bill will have in the Senate.

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