HOWELL — The Howell board of education overcame a $2.1 million budget deficit in part by contracting out custodial and administrative services.

Contracting out for custodial service is expected to save the district $400,000 this fiscal year alone. The district’s custodial union offered concessions that would have saved $242,000, but the district went with the private vendor, according to The Detroit News.

The district also contracted out four of its administrators, a move expected to save $135,000, according to The Detroit News. Administrators can retire and draw pension funds in addition to a salary from the contract company by returning to work in their previous capacities. The district will avoid paying pension contributions for the employees and additional payroll costs like Medicare and Social Security, according to The News.

The administrators who retire will be hired by Professional Education Services Group and will start in January as contract employees. The board is also looking at contracting out 38 childcare positions through PESG, which could save the district $82,000 annually, the News reported.

References: The Detroit News, "District looks at expanding privatization," Dec. 4, 2007 The Detroit News, "Howell school board may outsource administrators," Oct. 16, 2007 The Livingston Press, "Howell schools’ deficit could affect custodians first," June 21, 2007 The Livingston Press, "School officials to discuss cuts in budget tonight," June 19, 2007 The Detroit News, "Howell school board lays off 38 custodians," Aug. 14, 2007

For a list of schools that have contracted out and how much they have saved, go to www.mackinac.org/9012.