In early March, state representatives in Michigan introduced a bill that was designed toy prohibit school districts and intermediate school districts from directly employing people to provide custodial, transportation or food services. Instead, it would require, as of June 30, 2012, district officials to enter into one or more contracts to provide such services.

According to reports from the Times Herald, schools would be forced to obtain competitive bids for the services. That said, the bill specifies that bidding would not apply to contracts less than $20,000.

State representatives insist that the bill was designed to encourage transparency and would allow anyone to submit a proposal for services, including districts. According to one senator, the bill doesn't require privatization, as long as the in-house department can prove that they have the best bid for services.

As reported by the Times, an analysis prepared for the state House Education Committee states, "While privatization of certain non-instructional services and competitive bidding may allow districts to find savings, many districts have already moved in this direction when savings are to be found. ...

"Some districts have found that maintaining district employees to perform these non-instructional services is less expensive than privatizing; thus, the bill could increase costs under certain circumstances by mandating the privatization of certain non-instructional services."

Click here to read this full article.