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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 19, 2017 03:09 PM
From: Representative Aaron D. Kaufer
To: All House members
Subject: Establish Accountability and Transparency for Outsourcing Non-instructional Services in Schools
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that will establish accountability and transparency for outsourcing non-instructional services in schools.

Pennsylvania’s public schools employ thousands of support professionals– classroom aides, secretaries, paraprofessionals, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, maintenance workers, mechanics, and others—who provide nearly every professional service necessary to benefit students and keep Pennsylvania’s schools operating. Due to fiscal challenges that many local districts are facing, school administrators often look to achieve savings and flexibility by outsourcing those services to private entities.

However, savings rarely occur, and in many cases privatization costs communities more. Public officials are also less accountable when services are outsourced because they are less able to monitor and direct the service for which they are responsible. As public school services are shifted to the private sector, districts move from an open and accountable system to one that is further removed from public scrutiny.

My proposal would establish a process for school employers that are seeking to outsource non-instructional services that are currently performed by employees of the district. This process would require commonsense protections and transparency measures for taxpayers and the school community including formal requests for proposals; competitive bidding; the ability to demonstrate financial savings; an annual audit; and a guarantee that the school can terminate an agreement that exceeds cost projections. This process will be accessible to the public and will provide an opportunity for input from the local community.

My legislation will also provide important protections for the local workforce. The overwhelming majority of education support professionals live in the school district where they work and often have children attending those schools. When private entities take over local school services that are paid with local tax dollars, residents should not be left unemployed.

Pennsylvania’s system of public education is based on the principle of local control and oversight, and outsourcing non-instructional services should be held to the same standards. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1914