by The Providence Journal editorial board
Beverly, Mass., has approved selling ads in school buses. What a depressing
bit of news. And Boston has given preliminary approval to a similarly
repellent program. Surely local schools and their expenses, and state
aid, could be managed in such a way to avoid further commercializing public
Indeed, this is a debasement of civic culture. As Paul Schlichtman,
president of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, said:
"We should be funding public education as a community. What kind
of message are we sending our kids if we send them to school on buses
pushing candy and soda?"
The current state law letting communities peddle school-bus advertising
bars liquor, tobacco, drugs and gambling ads, and the ads can make up
no more than a quarter of the exterior of a bus. But we wonder how long
these restrictions will last. After all, Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun
are short drives away.