Privatization Talking points
An important question to ask Hillsborough County Public School leaders is how they will monitor the terms of the contract?
- Any attempt to privatize school services, such as custodial, is not likely to result in any savings. In the short term, for example the amount of money spent to buy out or transfer employees will wipe out whatever savings a private provider promises the school district.
- Those current workers who are hired by a private company will see lower wages and reduced benefits. This will increase the strain on their families, which may lead to further costs down the road for other agencies in Hillsbrough County such as unemployment benefits, health-care cost, etc. It’s possible that unemployment alone could costs millions of dollars.
- The likelihood of a large out of state company taking over custodial services is very high. A private company would then take its profits outside Hillsborough County, resulting in a net loss for the local economy. Those who work in our schools now will see less in salary, reducing their spending power locally, while a private company that wins the contract for the same services sends its profits outside of the county.
- The school district, which now vets and oversees custodians, will lose control of the ability to supervise these workers.
- Will the safety of our children be compromised? Low-wage, low-benefit jobs encourage frequent turnover. Will the company make sure that all the people coming in and out of our schools be fully vetted for security reasons? Doesn’t it make more sense for our community to have longer term employees who develop a sense of pride in, and loyalty to, our schools?
- Privatization attempts don’t usually end up saving money. We see by examples already set in Hillsborough Public Schools, providers made promises to lower costs and even save money in the short term, but the costs always rise, leading the private provider to charge more money as years pass & provide lesser quality services.
In other examples of privatized services in HCPS, companies such as Kelly Staffing Services have not provided the number of workers needed and often have not provide the quality service they said they would as we've seen reported in local media reports. Unless district leaders simply choose not to monitor the contract, it WILL cost the district time and money to make sure the company awarded a privatization contract upholds its end of the bargain and delivers the same high quality dependable service currently provided by our own employees.