Birmingham – The Alabama Policy Institute released a new independent research study titled, Dollars and “Sense”: How Outsourcing Can Save Money for Alabama’s Schools. Dollars and “Sense” examines the issues surrounding the outsourcing of three key support services in Alabama’s public schools: student transportation, food services, and maintenance. “Alabama’s struggles with proration have left no school district untouched,” said Dr. John Hill, director of research and author of this study. “To help direct more resources to the classroom, some school districts have turned to the private sector for services such as transportation, facilities maintenance, and cafeteria operations.” Among its findings, this report shows: Of the more than $4.04 billion projected for Alabama’s education budget for FY 2001-2002, $807.8 million was spent on non-education services. On average, schools districts in Alabama that fully outsourced their groundskeeping saved a minimum of 25 percent on their overall costs. If every school district in the state saved only half that amount, $2.7 million in savings could be realized. An across-the-board savings of just six percent for student transportation resulting from outsourcing would allow an additional $10.8 million to be redirected to the classroom. Forty percent of the nation’s school districts outsource their transportation and 21 percent outsource food services. A copy of Dollars and “Sense” will be available on the API Web site (http://www.alabamapolicyinstitute.org) by Wednesday, Jan. 8. For more information, please contact Kristin Landers at (205) 870-9900. ”The Alabama Policy Institute is an independent, non-profit research and education organization.”

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