MIDLAND, Mich. - Three public school districts and an intermediate district are jointly seeking bids from private custodial firms, though one official said that doesn't necessarily mean the districts will privatize the work, the Midland Daily News reported.

Administrators told the Daily News that they want to learn more about potential cost savings of outsourcing.

"Given the financial state that our districts are in and the pessimistic outlook for next year, we're being forced to look at every possible way to reduce our costs," Meridian Public Schools Superintendent Doug Fillmore told the Daily News.  Nearby Midland Public Schools already has outsourced its custodial work.

Bullock Creek Public Schools, one of the participants, was to meet Friday to consider extending the deadline on an early retirement offer made to staff custodians. The district had offered a $7,500 retirement incentive with a Jan. 4 deadline, but no custodians had accepted the offer by that point, The Daily News reported.

Midland Daily News, "County schools consider contracting custodial work," Jan. 28, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "School Privatization Survey 2009," Dec. 7, 2009