Contracting out is especially valuable when districts are able to provide better services at lower costs. This is why the survey asks about the district’s satisfaction with their service providers.

The results show that districts are happy with the services provided by private companies. Districts report satisfaction with 94.7 percent of these contracts. In 2 percent of cases, districts said they were unsure of their satisfaction, largely because these contracts were very new. School officials reported being dissatisfied with only 1.5 percent of contracts. Districts provided no response for 1.8 percent of contracts.

Even with the large levels of satisfaction, some school officials noted that there were newer challenges retaining quality custodial staff.

Graphic 9: Reported Satisfaction With Outsourcing

Graphic 9: Reported Satisfaction With Outsourcing - click to enlarge

This may seem like a remarkable record of satisfactory performance, but there may be a simple explanation for it. Districts tend to let the contracts that they are dissatisfied with expire, so it may not be surprising to see a lot of districts reporting that they are satisfied with the contracts they have agreed to.