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Okaloosa County schools to privatize custodial services

July 31, 2009
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CRESTVIEW, FL — The Okaloosa County School Board, a month after privatizing food services, has voted to move forward with a pilot program to privatize custodial services, according to Northwest Florida Daily News.
With a 3 to 2 vote earlier this week, the board authorized the district to negotiate a contract with GCA Services Group, the story stated.
According to the story, because custodial services now are managed on a school-by-school basis and budget constraints have forced custodial staff cuts, not every school is cleaned consistently.
The pilot program, which will be tested at 10 schools, will cost the school district more than $400,000 this coming year but should provide savings down the road if the board ultimately decides to privatize custodial services at all the schools, the story noted.
Rodney Nobles, Okaloosa County School District deputy superintendent of operations, said: "The plan is a ''hybrid privatization'' because existing custodians will continue to be employed by the district and keep their salaries and benefits. However, if the board decides to keep the company after this year, any district employees who leave will be replaced by GCA employees, which will save the district about $22,000 for each worker."
Regular evaluations will be conducted at each of the 10 schools before the decision to implement the program district-wide or not is made, the story added.
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