Officials from the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) say a groundbreaking $75 million contract to outsource the district's entire information technology (IT) department to local computer firm Compuware Corp. has paid off to the tune of $3 million in IT-related cost savings per year.

The May 2001 agreement—in which the Farmington Hills, Mich.-based company promised to deliver IT services in human resources, financial and budget operations, student information services, and special education—reportedly marked the first time a major city school district had enlisted the help of a private company to manage every aspect of...

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