In 2015, 232 school districts in Michigan, or 42.8 percent, outsourced food services to some degree. This is up 10 percent from 2014. Contracting out for food services was a relatively popular option for school districts when the Center started surveying districts — 27.3 percent of responding districts reported doing so in 2003. By contrast, in that same year, only 6.6 percent of districts contracted out for custodial services and only 3.9 percent did the same for transportation services. School food services privatization has steadily increased over the years, though not as much as contracting for custodial and transportation services.
Graphic 2: Food Service Outsourcing by Michigan School Districts, 2003-2015
Twenty-five districts agreed to new private food service contracts in 2015. Two districts — Albion Public Schools and Flushing Community Schools — brought contracted services back in-house. Flushing Community Schools had only contracted out for management of its food services, but it now uses intergovernmental contracts to provide these services.
Graphic 3: New Food Service Contracts in Michigan, 2015