The American Rescue Plan includes $122.7 billion for K-12 schools to help with reopening and learning recovery. In combination with additional state, local, and philanthropic investments, this amount of funds is unprecedented, and a significant portion of these funds will be spent on contracts with external vendors to deliver needed services. However, the procurement process is an important and often under-emphasized lever for improvement in education, and a number of factors complicate the distribution of funds and the provision of services.
This brief, co-authored by Managing Director Bi Vuong for the Comprehensive Center Network, is designed to support a variety of stakeholders who may have a role in learning recovery, including State Education Agencies (SEAs), Local Education Agencies (LEAs), and education vendors (which may include regional education agencies or collaboratives, non-profit or for-profit vendors, and others). It focuses on the various levers and steps that stakeholders can employ related to procurement and contracting processes, including procurement thresholds, preferred provider criteria and lists, request for proposal (RFP) processes, contracting (including performance contracting), monitoring, and evaluation.