Part of the new Michigan Senate Republicans' spending reform proposal would mandate public school districts to seek competitive bids for food, custodial and transportation services. The Mackinac Center surveys each district annually to see whether they contract out for these services. You can view the 2009 survey results here.

Currently, districts have the option to outsource whichever services they choose. Just last year, districts contracted out for 29 food, custodial or transportation services. These new contracts alone are expected to save the districts $6.9 million.

A primer on contracting out is available here.

Requesting proposals and analyzing bids is a tried and true way of finding savings or ensuring that a district's operations are efficient.