Whether you call it outsourcing, external partnerships, or contract services, there are various perspectives regarding the idea of of seeking support outside of the district.
While each individual has their own experiences, there are many misconceptions. Below are some common myths that we have found exist in the K-12 community.
A: District leaders never lose control. Rather, bringing in outside expertise can help them plan better, use resources more efficiently, reduce risk, inspire innovation, and develop a more satisfied workforce. The end result is actually more time, flexibility, and ability to achieve the district's desired goals.
A: Experienced companies have developed best practices for innovative programs, people management expertise, operational efficiencies, and purchasing leverage not often realized by individual districts. While the most successful external partners invest themselves in their schools and communities, they also offer a wealth of resources that school districts may not have readily available, including experts from areas like nutrition and engineering.
A: Outsourcing companies offer various management models. However, a majority of the employees remain on a district's payroll or are hired by the outsourcing company at competitive wages and benefits. Additionally, internal advancement is always supported; employees are constantly trained, rewarded for their achievements through employee recognition programs, and exposed to a variety of career opportunities.
A: In addition to helping control costs, outsourcing can engage and empower district employees, enhance the quality of food and facility operations, and strengthen the connection with the community. In the end, strong partnerships can be formed that assist school districts in cultivating and sustaining safe places to learn, socialize, and grow.
A: The long-term commitment of outsourcing partners to school districts and communities can take many creative forms that enhance the community's spirit and contribute to the quality of life of its residents. Some examples include summer youth and co-op employment programs, promoting healthy eating habits with nutrition awareness programs, participating in national job skills programs for youth, developing local business partnership opportunities for minority-owned companies, and many more.