Review of A School Privatization Primer for Michigan School Officials, Media and Residents

Michael D. LaFaive
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
June 27, 2007
February 19, 2008

Issued by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "A School Privatization Primer for Michigan School Officials, Media and Residents" examines the "contracting out" of public school support services — specifically food, transportation, and custodial services. The report describes the prevalence of contracting out and sets forth the practical steps in hiring a contractor and the benefits in allowing districts to focus on their core mission of instruction. This information may help districts already committed to contracting out. However, the report presupposes that the practice is beneficial. It relies primarily on testimony from district officials rather than direct data or research. And it does not consider the significant transactions costs associated with contracting out or the risks in ceding control to an outside vendor. Overall, the report is prone to overstatement and misleading contentions, resulting in a report that greatly over-simplifies how education systems operate and the purported benefits of contracting out education-related services.

Suggested Cite:

Belfield, C. (2008). Review of "A School Privatization Primer for Michigan School Officials, Media and Residents."  Boulder and Tempe: Education and the Public Interest Center & Education Policy Research Unit. Retrieved [date] from http://epicpolicy.org/thinktank/review-school-privatization-primer

Think Tank Review DOWNLOAD/PRINT