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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Is outsourcing of school services worth the effort?



As we noted in this story over the weekend, several Florida school districts are exploring the idea of selling off some of their non-core mission to private companies. 

They've looked to big departments, such as transportation and food services, as well as small. The Pasco school district, for instance, has outsourced lawn maintenance, gym floor refinishing, construction inspection and fire alarm services.

Some districts are thrilled with the return, saying they've saved money and seen improved work. The companies are the "experts," officials explain, and by them doing the non-educational work, principals and teachers can focus on what school's really about.

Others have raised concerns, though, about such issues as the loss of control of the work being done, along with the potential for costs to rise after the initial contract beyond the district's original expenses.

As Florida school districts continue to look for ways to save money amid decreasing revenue, should they keep looking at privatization of services? Or should they continue to do the work themselves?

[Last modified: Monday, August 13, 2012 6:42am]


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