ALBION — The Albion Board of Education has voted to privatize its custodial services by hiring a private firm, a move which is expected to save $250,000 per year. According to the Albion Recorder, the vote was 6-1 and followed public input, some of which implored the board not to adopt the proposal. The argument in favor of privatization ultimately prevailed because administrators were facing a financial problem. "The bottom line is dollars," board Vice President Kirk Lee said, according to the Recorder. The firm hired by the Board was Grand Rapids Building Services, which began its work in September.

Shortly before Albion approved the privatization of custodial jobs, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy published its third biennial survey of school privatization. Center researchers found that more than one-third of all school districts in Michigan now contract out for at least one of three major noninstructional items, which include food, custodial and busing services. Of the 552 school districts successfully contacted by the Mackinac Center, 156 contract for food services. 8.7 percent of districts contract out for custodial services, up from 6.6 percent just two years ago. To read more about the Center’s findings, visit the Mackinac Center’s Web site at www.mackinac.org/7212.