The Incidence of Contracting for School Support Services

While there is no official central source of information on the extent to which the nation’s more than 14,000 conventional public school districts have privatized support services, there have been several attempts to measure the degree of competitive contracting at various levels of government.[v] What follows is culled from a variety of government, industry and private studies of school service privatization.Despite the inherent survey limitations, the information provides some idea of the extent to which contracting for busing, food and janitorial services occurs in the public school system.

[v] “Table 85, Number of Regular Public School Districts, by Enrollment Size of District: Selected Years, 1990-91 through 2003-04” (National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, 2005). There are also about 4,000 charter, magnet and private schools in the United States.