School privatization survey shows increase in contracting

MIDLAND — The Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s annual school privatization survey found that 40.2 percent of conventional public school districts in Michigan contract for one of the three major noninstructional support services. That is up from 37.4 in 2006. The largest increase in privatization came from custodial services — 16 additional districts signed contracts to provide these services.

Mid-sized districts were the most likely to privatize. More than half of the districts with between 2,000 and 4,000 pupils assigned to them contract for food, custodial or transportation services.

Overall, 89.2 percent of districts that contract report being pleased with their experience. Just under 10 percent were unsure and less than 1 percent said they were not pleased. About 79 percent of districts that contracted reported saving money.

You can view the entire survey at On page, 13, Around the State entries detail many of the individual school-related privatization stories that occurred between June and December of this year.