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Calloway County Schools Consider Outsourcing Custodians

Martin Haas, 123rf Stock Photo

The Calloway County School Board is considering outsourcing custodians to reduce spending and increase efficiency. Graves County Schools Head Custodian Matthew Powell is leading an effort against the possible effort. He says the county could save $130,000 a year by outsourcing but that they will regret it.

“And with me being on the National Education Association of board of directors I’m in all the states and I see first-hand school districts that have tried this, and they’re still suffering from it,” Powell said.

Powell says he is concerned that student safety will be at risk if there is a high turnover rate that he says some custodial companies have. He says some custodians are close to retiring and their retirement plan could be in jeopardy if Calloway County decided to outsource. Public relations officer Tawnya Powell says custodians currently employed would have the first opportunity to work with the new company and those close to retirement would be able to switch to a 401 k retirement plan.

“It isn’t all doomsday at all, this would be interesting and it wouldn’t be something that if Calloway County decides to do this that we’re in it for ten years. It’s not like we have to sign on and we’re never going back. It’s like if after a year we don’t like it we can get out of it,” Hunter said.

Hunter says custodians currently employed at Calloway County Schools would have the first opportunity to work for the company they contract with and those “good at their job” won’t have anything to worry about.

Hunter says outsourcing of custodians is one of many options the school district is exploring. At this time there has been no vote on outsourcing. The next school board meeting is April 14.

Becca Schimmel is a Becca Schimmel is a multimedia journalist with the Ohio Valley ReSource a collaborative of public radio stations in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio. She's based out of the WKU Public Radio newsroom in Bowling Green.
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