FLINT, Mich. — More than half of Michigan's public school districts now hire private companies for all or part of their custodial, food or transportation services, a new survey shows, according to The Flint Journal.

Conducted by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the privatization survey shows that 295 of the state’s 550 districts, or 53.6 percent, are outsourcing, up from 31 percent in 2001, according to The Journal and a Mackinac Center news release.

The Mackinac Center also publishes Michigan Education Digest.

“In the past decade, privatization of non-instructional services has moved from controversy to consensus,” James Hohman, Mackinac Center assistant director of fiscal policy, said in the news release, The Journal reported. “With school officials constantly seeking more revenue, contracting has a firm record of saving districts money.”

Beaverton Rural Schools in Gladwin County anticipates saving $157,000 per year by contracting out custodial work, the news release said as an example, according to The Journal.

Seeking competitive bids for non-instructional services also is one of five “best practices” for schools outlined in the Michigan state budget this year, The Journal reported. School districts that adopt four of the five practices are eligible for added state funding.

SOURCE:

The Flint Journal, “More than half Michigan school districts now privatizing services, Mackinac Center survey shows,” Aug. 16, 2011

FURTHER READING:

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Privatization still a growing trend in Michigan schools,” Aug. 16, 2011

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