Publisher’s Note: No barriers. Goal met!

OhioMBE Publisher Ronda Watson Barber

Publisher’s Note:  No barriers! Goal Met!
By Ronda Watson Barber

I have questioned the commitment of the Columbus City School district to meet the board mandated  20 percent purchasing goal. Are those that are charged with procuring good and services doing their best to include Black businesses? According to a report released Oct. 15, the largest public school district in Ohio was very close to meeting the 20% purchasing goal.  For the fiscal year 2017-2018, Columbus City Schools spent $102,255581.02.  Locally economically disadvantaged businesses received 19.5 % of contracts.

  • 56 African American businesses were awarded $12,942,170.32
  • 129 LEDE businesses were utilized

I applaud the district for vastly improving the purchasing spend with LEDE vendors.  It appears that some barriers what were placed before LEDE vendors have been eliminated. The district is operating without a purchasing director.  The district still requires vendors to obtain general liability insurance prior to being awarded a contract. The efforts during the last school term is impressive.  The outreach coordinator Terri Wise does an outstanding job of notifying LEDE businesses of opportunities within the district. She is a staple at the OhioMBE Procurement Fairs. She is dedicated to the LEDE program and its vendors.  That dedication is contagious.

It is important that Black businesses are included in the scheme of business within Columbus City Schools.  We are tax payers.  Moreover, all children need to see successful Black businesses operating in the school district.

Just my thoughts…

LEDE Spend Report FY2018

2016-17 FINAL LEDE Report 10-3-17

 

2014-2015 School Year

  • 59 LEDE businesses received contracts; $5.4 million was spent with LEDE businesses;
  • 29 Black LEDE businesses received $4.4 million in contracts;
  • District spent $60.4 overall in good & services;
  • LEDE businesses received 8.9% of contracts.

2013-2014 School Year

  • 67 LEDE businesses received contracts;
  • $5.7 million was spent with LEDE Businesses;
  • 35 Black LEDE businesses received $4.2 million in contracts;
  • District spent $84.8 million overall in goods & services;
  • LEDE businesses received 6.7 % of contracts

2012-2013 School Year

  • 64 LEDE businesses received contracts;
  • $5.3 million was spent with LEDE businesses;
  • 27 Black LEDE businesses received $4.1 million in contracts;
  • District spent $83 million in goods & services;
  • LEDE businesses received 6.4% of contracts;
  • LEDE businesses received $14 million under the Facilities Master Plan. These are the dollars used for the construction of new or rebuild and/or renovate schools.; The total FMP spend was $49 million