In 2018, 380 of Michigan’s 539 school districts contracted out for food, custodial or transportation services. This is a four-district decline from 2017.
The share of districts contracting out increased from 31.0 percent in 2001 to 69.7 percent in 2015 and has stayed around 70 percent since. From 2005 to 2015, an average of 3.3 percent of districts per year began contracting out. The largest single-year increase came in 2012, when 6.8 percent of districts started a contract.
Custodial service is the most frequently contracted service, with 279 districts using private vendors to clean and maintain their property. Three fewer districts did so in 2018, compared to 2017.
In 2018, 232 districts contract out for food service management or labor, a two-district decline from 2017.
There were 141 districts that contract out for bus services. That number is unchanged from 2017.
Graphic 1: Percentage of School Districts Contracting Out
for Noninstructional Services, 2003, 2005-2018