OAK PARK-Oak Park school employees protested outside the school administration building April 22 in response to the district's attempt to hire an outside company to manage custodial staff. Currently, the district manages custodians, several of whom also drive school buses.

"Their ultimate plan is to subcontract out custodial maintenance," said union representative Michael Landsiedel, who fears that contracting out management is just one step toward the full replacement of all current district workers. "We have about 40 people in this district that could be losing their jobs and livelihood," he said.

Oak Park Superintendent Alexander Bailey said the district's effort has more to do with improving quality than with saving money. "This is not an issue of money. There has to be something different in our buildings," he said.