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June 03, 2010  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Michigan bill would outsource non-instructional labor


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LANSING, Mich. — Senate bill 1074, introduced in January, has prompted some school employees to write letters to Gov. Jennifer Granholm asking how the measure would affect their paychecks.

The bill would require the outsourcing of all non-instructional support services in public school districts for contracts of $20,000 or more. According to the bill text, schools "may contract with any person or entity to provide these services, including, but not limited to, contracting with a group of its employees or a representative of a group of its employees to provide one or more of these services on a contractual basis rather than an employment basis."

The bill has been working its way through legislative committees.

Those in favor of the bill include some districts that have experience with outsourcing, according to a report by the Michigan Policy Network. There are 551 school districts in Michigan; 250 of them already contract with private companies for at least one of the non-instructional services, which include janitorial, food and transportation services.

Supporters say the cost savings achieved through competitively bidding out services would be significant.

Those opposed to the bill say it would result in lost jobs in the state and lower attendance at public schools.


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