SOUTHFIELD — Southfield schools decided to contract out its custodial and transportation services, rejecting last-minute concessions offered by its service unions, according to the Detroit Free Press. The move is expected to save the district $21.5 million over three years. The district had an estimated budget deficit of $4.3 million, according to The Detroit News.

Because schools are funded largely on a per-pupil basis, districts that are losing population see significant revenue declines. Southfield’s enrollment decreased by 279 students from last year, which caused revenue to decline by nearly $3 million, according to the Southfield Eccentric.

A consultant hired by the district managed its request for proposals, a committee of Oakland ISD and Southfield staff identified a pool of recommended bids, and the district’s administration chose Durham School Services to provide transportation and GCA Services Group to provide custodial services, according to school board member Karen Miller.

For the 2006-2007 fiscal year, the district spent $14 million on operations and maintenance and $7 million on transportation. It had a positive balance in its food service fund, according to its financial reports.

"Southfield school board moves towards privatization," The Oakland Press, April 10, 2008

"Southfield schools to privatize bus, cafeteria services," Detroit Free Press, April 23, 2008

"Emotions, numbers fly at privatization hearing," The Southfield Eccentric, Dec. 20, 2007

"School district plans to privatize service jobs," The Detroit News, Jan. 21, 2008