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ERIC Number: ED530880
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun-26
Pages: 122
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-890624-63-7
A School Privatization Primer for Michigan School Officials, Media and Residents
LaFaive, Michael D.
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
The landscape of public education in Michigan has changed dramatically over the last 13 years. Most districts receive a majority of their operating money from state government, not local taxes. Charter schools and nearby districts lure students away from local schools and capture the state money that goes with them. Districts are even subject to new reporting and student testing mandates, with the results available in seconds through the Internet from almost anywhere in the nation. School districts have thus been forced to stand out from their neighbors, particularly through academic quality, the one product everyone expects schools to produce and the one quality everyone tries to quantify. Districts with unexceptional academic results are less likely to attract students, balance budgets and placate legislators. In this environment, privatization is a simplifier. The day-to-day responsibilities of transporting students, feeding them or keeping their schools clean are delegated to private firms that can be penalized or fired for failure, even as other firms wait to fill the breach. District officials become freer to help teachers with the difficult but central job of academic improvement and discovery. This primer thus focuses on privatization of schools' three major support services ---food, transportation and custodial--and discusses how frequently these services are privatized, how the contracting process works and how school officials can optimize the cost and quality of the services they receive. The primer also discusses the "request for proposals" used to solicit bids from private vendors and "10 Rules of Thumb" to help districts contract successfully. Appended are: (1) A Recent Privatization Court Challenge; (2) Sample RFPs, Company Responses and Contracts; and (3) Contractors Operating in Michigan School Districts. (Contains 7 graphics, 16 footnotes, 177 endnotes and an index.) [For "Review of 'A School Privatization Primer for Michigan School Officials, Media and Residents,'" see ED530881.]
Mackinac Center for Public Policy. 140 West Main Street, P.O. Box 568, Midland, MI 48640. Tel: 800-224-3327; Tel: 989-631-0900; Fax: 989-631-0964; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Mackinac Center for Public Policy
Identifiers - Location: Michigan