LANSING — Bills have been introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives to make it more difficult to contract out support services in school districts.
House Bill 6342, introduced by Rep. Jeff Mayes, would require districts to perform a cost analysis of a privatization decision that includes "noneconomic" effects. Exactly what is considered and how large of a weight would be given to "noneconomic" effects is not included in the initial bill language.
House Bill 6270, introduced by Rep. Doug Bennett, would prevent districts from contracting out if the move is expected to save less than 10 percent.
Mayes' bill was sent to the House Labor Committee, while Bennett's was sent to the House Education Committee.
According to the Mackinac Center's 2008 school support service privatization survey, 42.2 percent of school districts in Michigan contract out for food, custodial or transportation services.
While these bills may die when this Legislature closes, the sponsors of the bills both won re-election in November and may reintroduce them.