In Or Out? K-12 District Wrestles with Outsourcing

  July 13, 2016

By Dan Hounsell

The Chicago Board of Education recently approved an expansion of a privately managed maintenance program. The board’s unanimous vote doubles the size of an upkeep program managed under contract of up to $80 million won by SodexoMAGIC. The district, citing its bleak financial condition, privatized many building maintenance duties in 2014 but quickly started receiving complaints about dirty schools.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has requested proposals to standardize the custodial program at all schools by the 2017-’18 school year. That would affect hundreds of building engineers covered by a district labor contract that expires next month.

Under the integrated facilities management model, SodexoMAGIC handled custodial and engineering services, snow removal, landscaping and pest control at 33 district schools. The approved expansion adds 30 schools to the company's purview, CPS said. SodexoMAGIC also oversees CPS' entire school facilities management system. In addition, CPS said 18 schools managed by Aramark will be put into a maintenance program similar to that run by SodexoMAGIC.

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This Quick Read was submitted by Dan Hounsell, editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions, Read more about avoiding outsourcing problems here.


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