For Immediate Release
June 16, 2005
Illinois State Board of Education launches Illinois School
Program offers savings opportunity to
Springfield, Ill. The Illinois State Board of Education
(ISBE) has announced the launch of the Illinois School
Purchasing Network. The network offers all school districts
in Illinois access to high-quality products at some of
the best available government prices. The network was
developed in response to Governor Blagojevichs call
for the State Board to create savings opportunities that
help Illinois school districts.
We are grateful for the work that Governor Blagojevich
has done to provide historic education funding increases
over the last three years. But, even with those increases
we know that schools continue to feel pressure to find
additional efficiencies, said Randy Dunn, Interim
State Superintendent of Education. At the Illinois
State Board of Education we need to do our part to help
local school districts save money in their day to day
operations. By launching the Illinois School Purchasing
Network we will help local districts leverage group buying
power. This initiative gives school districts one more
option in their purchasing decisions.
Through the Illinois School Purchasing Network shared
services initiative, ISBE will partner with U.S. Communities,
a national, not-for-profit, governmental purchasing cooperative.
U.S. Communities has a proven track record of saving money
for school districts, which represent 34 percent of its
School district contracts through
the Illinois School Purchasing Network are free, voluntary
and non-exclusive, with no spending minimums. Because
all of the contracts in the network have been bid by another
governmental entity, school districts will avoid the administrative
burdens associated with the bidding process while accessing
some of the best governmental pricing options available.
At Plainfield, weve been working with Office
Depot through U.S. Communities, and the savings weve
realized have been a big help to our district, said
Eric Trimberger, Director of Finance, Plainfield District
202. To put it in the simplest terms, by working
with U.S. Communities weve saved enough money to
fund a classroom teachers salary and benefits for
a full school year.
U.S. Communities charges no user fees, and combines more
than $500 million in annual purchasing power through partnerships
with 8,000 public agencies representing 87,000 local entities.
Products available include school and office supplies
and furniture; technology products; physical education
and playground equipment; electrical, communications and
data supplies; janitorial materials; carpeting and flooring;
and office machines.
We are very happy to join with ISBE in bringing
another procurement option to Illinois schools,
stated Steve Hamill, Co-General Manager of U.S. Communities.
Schools have become the largest users of U.S. Communities
over the past three years, which we believe is an indicator
of the value and savings that the program brings to the
ISBE has developed online access to the Illinois School
Purchasing Network at http://www.isbe.net/savings.
The website offers an overview of the program, contact
information and instructions on registering with US Communities;
the network is active effective today and districts may
sign up immediately. In the first two weeks following
the programs launch, over 50 Illinois school districts
enrolled in the program.