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      Some school buses could soon display ads

      COLUMBIA (WACH/AP) -- South Carolina's school districts may be able to sell advertisements on activity buses next school year.

      Legislators' budget plans for 2013-14 include a clause permitting ads on district-owned buses that transport students to athletic contests and other activities. Ads would still be barred from state-owned yellow buses that take students to and from school.

      Sen. Paul Thurmond of Charleston tried unsuccessfully Tuesday to delete the permission from the Senate's budget proposal, saying children are exposed to too much marketing already.

      "I don't agree with it," said Senator Thurmond. "I think that there should be an opportunity for children to go to and from educational activities without having to be bombarded by commercial efforts."

      But Sen. Wes Hayes says the ads will be on the outside, directed at passing motorists. The Rock Hill Republican says school boards should get to make decisions about locally-owned buses.

      "I think that's a decision that should be made on a local level the state doesn't need to micro-manage," said Hayes.

      Rock Hill school district already sells ads on its service vehicles.

      Debate on the Senate budget plan continues Wednesday.