In 2011, The Kentucky General Assembly debated a bill that would have allowed advertising on the sides of school buses.

At that time, The Madison Courier wrote an editorial stating that the idea was ill advised and could endanger students.

Now, the Indiana Senate is looking at a bill that would make school buses rolling billboards.

We still think that's a bad idea.

Under the Indiana plan, school buses would be allowed to carry ads in the Indianapolis neighborhoods of Franklin Township and Beech Grove and in Zionsville, just northwest of Indianapolis, as part of a pilot program.

The high cost of operating and maintaining a fleet of buses is driving the debate.

The Zionsville school district estimates that ads on buses could raise up to $60,000.

That's a lot of money, but no amount is worth compromising the safety of our children.

Ads on the sides of a school bus would distract drivers who might focus on the messages rather than the children riding on the bus - or worse, exiting or entering the bus.

Most states have tough laws that punish careless driving around school buses. Still, we see too many tickets issued to drivers violating the law when a school bus is nearby. Why exacerbate the problem?

The last thing we need is for a driver to be craning his neck to read an ad and miss a child in his path.