MEA Embraces More Outsourcing

But still protests when schools do it

The Michigan Education Association is a large critic of school boards hiring private companies to provide noninstructional services, such as custodial, food and transportation. But the union uses this often fiscally responsible practice itself, as the Mackinac Center for Public Policy has documented several times in the past.

The most recent example is revealed in this video that features MEA employees attesting to how great outsourcing their dues collection services was. In it, MEA representatives admit that their "in-house" attempts to collect dues were "not reliable, and inaccurate." They also admit that their accounting was shoddy — apparently the union didn't know if its "accounts receivable were correct or not."

In explaining its decisions to hire a third-party to run its dues collection services, the MEA makes a strong case for why school districts should explore outsourcing, too.

As a membership organization, the MEA's main purpose should be representing the best interests of its members, and developing and managing an online payment system is not in its wheelhouse. The same applies for school districts. They are in the business of educating students, and they often can do better by leaving the noninstructional services to the experts.

So the next time MEA officials argue that there's something inherently wrong with schools outsourcing, remind them of all the reasons they do it themselves.