In these tough economic times, local school boards may soon get the go-ahead to place advertisements on the sides of their school buses.

Mike Yaple, a spokesman for the New Jersey School Boards Association says the state has submitted proposed regulations – which probably won’t be officially accepted for at least a couple of months.

Once they’re approved, he says rules specify that “the school board could not accept any messages that are vulgar, that promote tobacco, alcohol or gambling, that glamorize sex or violence, and they could not include any messages that are political, religious, or related to any kind of controversial type of issue.

Yaple points out “the state really seems to be trying to draft its regulations that put the interest of the students as a major priority -to make sure that inappropriate or any kind of age-inappropriate messages aren’t put before the students.”

He also says “I don’t think anyone would willingly go forward with this, but -in a perfect world schools would be fully funded and we wouldn’t have to worry about ads on school buses…districts don’t have to do this, but in some communities, taxpayers might demand that their school board takes a look at every possible way to cut costs… It would be entirely decided by the community at the local school board level – its’ not a requirement.”