• 44.6 percent of districts (246 out of 551) contract out for food, custodial or transportation services.
  • 29 food, custodial or transportation services were outsourced this year.
  • Eight districts insourced services this year.
  • New contracts alone were estimated to save taxpayers $6.9 million statewide.

Privatization continues to increase this year as 246 districts contracted out for food, custodial or transportation services. Contracting has increased 44 percent since 2001 and displays a steady trend, growing an average of 6.3 percent each year.

Graphic 1: Outsourcing by Michigan School Districts

Graphic 1: Outsourcing by Michigan School Districts - click to enlarge

There are 306 districts that did not contract out for any of the three main support services. Five of those districts ended previous contracting arrangements. Three other districts brought services back in-house but had contracts in place for other services.

The relatively small increase in the percentage of districts that contract out services hides some of the growth in contracting that is occurring in Michigan school districts. If a district contracted out food services when it already had a custodial service contract, for example, it would still count only once in these figures. Overall, there were 29 new contracting arrangements.

This year, the Mackinac Center requested cost analysis sheets from districts that began new contracting arrangements to see how much outsourcing is expected to save districts. Altogether, contracting was expected to save Michigan taxpayers nearly $7 million.