- 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.
- The current workers who are hired by a private company typically see lower wages and reduced benefits due to the reduction of working hours. This will increase the strain on their families, which may lead to further costs down the road for other agencies in Hillsborough 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 in a school district as large as Hillsborough 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 who may see less in salary, will have less 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 are 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 who have 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.
One of the most important question to ask Hillsborough County Public School leaders is how will they monitor the terms of the contract? It's questionable whether current outsourced contracts in HCPS are properly monitored.
In other examples of privatized services in HCPS, companies such as Kelly Staffing have not provided the number of workers needed and often have not provided the quality service they said they would, as we have seen in numerous media reports.
Unless district leaders choose not to monitor the contract, which is an unacceptable and dangerous practice, it WILL cost the district the time and money expected in savings to make sure the company awarded any contract upholds its end of the bargain and delivers the same high quality, dependable service currently provided by our dedicated and loyal custodial staff!