Michigan Schools Districts Embrace Privatization

A majority of public school districts in Michigan are privatizing noninstructional services, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Nearly 54 percent of districts statewide now outsource food, custodial or transportation services, up from 31 percent in 2001. Almost 65 percent of districts in southeast Michigan do so, the Free Press reported. Only 48 percent of districts in mid-Michigan do so, according to The Flint Journal. The Journal also reported that 13 of 21 school districts in Genesee County, or 62 percent, contract out for at least one support service. 

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Interlochen Public Radio reported that schools in the northern Lower Peninsula lag the state when it comes to privatizing support services. WLNS-TV6 in Lansing reported that schools in mid-Michigan are slightly behind the state average, with 48 percent privatizing.

“In the past decade, privatization of noninstructional services has moved from controversy to consensus,” James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy, told the Free Press.

Lansing political newsletters MIRS and Gongwer also both covered the release of the survey.

The Oakland Press reported on the survey and also posted a video by Communications Specialist Kathy Hoekstra about one district that is bucking the trend in spending cuts.