DETROIT—Nobody knows how many millions of dollars Detroit's public schools will save by switching from its old warehouse school supply system to ordering online from Office Depotbecause, as the Detroit Free Press editorialized "no one could ever account for the inventory" from the old system.

It's a shoo-in that savings will exceed the $1 million former CEO David Adamany estimates the district will save because of the discount negotiated with Office Depot on the deal.

But the new online ordering system is expected to end decades of confusion over costs, inventory, and delivery. No more waiting for school supplies that are delivered too late or never. Office Depot is promising one-day delivery. Even better, the district will no longer have to account for inventory since the private company will be handling all the paperwork.

In short, it means total privatization of the supply system for one of the biggest school districts in the nation. There's no reason why it shouldn't work, nor why other school districts from sea to shining sea shouldn't follow suit.