Debate over allowing ads on school buses: What do you think?

There's debate underway about whether to allow advertising on school buses here in New York.

A new law proposed by two state lawmakers would allow companies to advertise on the outside of school buses, much like they can on Centro buses.

But the New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) is calling on state lawmakers to keep the school buses yellow and not allow advertising on them.

"The school bus is known by all Americans in its National School Bus Chrome, or yellow, coloring. That color was specifically selected for its uniqueness as well as for its visibility," said NYAPT Executive Director Peter Mannella. "To compromise the integrity and familiarity of that iconic color is simply wrong and presents safety risks to our children."

If approved, the law would amend the State's Education Law so "...any school district in the state may enter into a contract for the sale of advertising space on the exterior sides of school buses owned or leased by the school district..."

Supporters say it's a creative solution for states grapping with huge budget deficits and a new way to raise revenue. Several states have passed similar legislation, others are trying to.

"If the alternative is huge classroom sizes and losing teachers and losing qualified personnel, yes, this seems like something we should consider," one Texas mother told the New York Times.

But the NYAPT says it will only put your children's safety at risk. The organization argues that not only would adding the advertisements compromise the uniform color of school buses, but it would distract drivers who are looking at the ads rather than paying attention to the roads.

"We have a problem in our state with thousands of motorists passing our school buses illegally every day," Mannella said. "We are concerned that motorists will be even more distracted by advertisements on the school buses and we will see an increase in illegal passing. No amount of revenues will protect a child from a passing vehicle."

There is also concern that kids would be distracted by the ads, putting them at risk as they try to board the bus.

Similar legislation is pending right now in other states like Oklahoma. Read more about the debate there.

Amid a similar debate in Utah, one reader wrote, "If the schools need more money, there should be an increase in taxes. That's the obvious and sane answer. However, the nuts in government have so poisoned the concept of taxes that they've put themselves in a corner and now would rather advertise flavored condoms on children's school buses than suggest raising the needed revenue through the mechanism designed to do so."

Another said, "Yeah, we are only bombarded with 3,000 ads a day - why let the space on school buses go to waste?"

Do you think the state should allow advertising on school buses? Do you agree with the NYAPT that it would present a safety risk to kids? Do you think it's a creative solution to help the state with its financial problems? Leave your thoughts below.