School officials wishing to competitively contract services in their districts must begin with the end in mind and work backward. Hence, districts contemplating contracting may wish to review the results of similar contracting attempts in other districts (examples are easy to find), noting particular processes and contract details related to the following questions:

  • What were the results of the contracting over time (not just in the first year)?

  • What were the results after the first year?

  • Was the contract renewed?

  • Were district officials forced to warn the contractor at any time of perceived performance shortcomings?

  • Did either the displaced district employees or the union representing them file an unfair labor practice complaint[lviii] against the school board or try to interfere in other ways with the transition?


[lviii] An unfair labor practice is an act forbidden by labor law, such as the National Labor Relations Act or the Michigan Public Employment Relations Act. Complaints about such practices can be filed against an employer or against a union.