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Outsourcing – Common Sense or Nonsense?



1/01/18: “Outsourcing – Common Sense or Nonsense?” article by BAISCA’s Andrew LaRowe and Mike Raible of The School Solutions Group in the January 2018 issue of School Planning and Management Magazine.

Many school systems contract with a third party for essential and non-essential services. Some are quite successful, while others struggle to make the relationships work. Stories, both good and bad, abound in the industry about outsourcing. When does it make sense to outsource? When is it a mistake? What are the terms of some successful contracts?

The most frequent targets for outsourcing or privatization are the support activities of the school system—custodial, grounds, maintenance, transportation, and food services. These are often described as “non-core” activities, and therefore, thought to have less impact upon the organization’s performance than so-called “core” activities. These service activities also tend to use a substantial part of the budget for school systems and are considered by some to be “low hanging fruit” in the budget arena.

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