One of Reason's sister think tanks in Michigan, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy recently conducted a survey of Michigan's 555 school districts in order to assess the extent and effectiveness of contracting with private-sector firms. Of the 517 districts that responded, 176 districts – 34 percent – said they outsource at least one noninstructional service. Of the duties these public school districts outsource (some schools outsource more than one service), the most popular by far is food services with nearly 80 percent employing a private company to manage district cafeteria employees or programs. Another 18 percent contract for custodial duties, and nearly 16 percent do so for their transportation needs.
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