Columbus City Schools misses LEDE purchasing goals for 4th straight year
The State’s largest public school district, Columbus City Schools, has missed its goal to contract 20 percent of goods and services with local disadvantaged businesses for the fourth straight year. During the last school year, 108 LEDE certified (Local Economic Disadvantage Enterprises) businesses received contracts with Columbus City Schools, resulting in a spend of $13.3 million dollars. The district spent 10.382% of purchasing dollars with LEDE businesses. Fifty businesses that received contacts under the LEDE program were Black. The overall purchasing dollars spend for fiscal year 2015-2016 was $128 million dollars.
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 to for construction of news or rebuild and/or renovate schools.; The total FMP spend was $49 million
While we have nearly doubled our overall LEDE participation over the past three years, we want to see continued and greater growth in this effort to engage and contract with local vendors. We’ve taken a number of step to boost these numbers, especially in our daily District operations. In fact, the Board of Education is set to approve a sizeable contract next week with a LEDE firm, KMC Snow and Ice Management, for more than a quarter-of-a-million dollars.
As part of our dedicated efforts to grow LEDE participation, the District eliminated the requirement that companies acquire business insurance before submitting a bid, doubled the points awarded in the RFP process for LEDE participation (from 10 points to 20 points out of 100), and added indirect LEDE subcontractor participation to our RFPs. This was done to encourage prime contractors to hire LEDEs to support their operations even if that support is not directly related to the Columbus City Schools’ account.
Finally, our team regularly attends outreach events, monthly procurement fairs and other small business events to meet with prospective LEDE vendors and share information about the benefits of enrolling in the LEDE program and the opportunities in contracting and procurement with the District.
This appeared in OhioMBE – Dec. 1, 2016