Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: Contract with local nonprofits

Letter by Judie Fortier, Tacoma on Feb. 28, 2011 at 1:33 pm with 5 Comments »
February 28, 2011 2:02 pm

As a leader in the women’s community and former coordinator of a women-in-business program for Tacoma, I find the recent reports about Tacoma Public Schools paying Seattle Public Schools for business-related contracts unusual.

We have organizations in Tacoma that could have done this work for Tacoma schools. In fact, the State of Washington provides these services free.

Who recommended that our school district contract out this service? Was it put out to bid?

It is a federal responsibility that those who receive federal funds fully implement laws and regulations guaranteeing equal opportunity. I am not concerned about the intent of the contract services. But there are many minority and women business firms in Pierce County, that any of us can find by going to the state’s website for free.

On behalf of local businesses, Tacoma Public Schools should contract with those who pay property and business taxes in this city.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. olympicmtn says:

    Judie says: Who recommended that our school district contract out this service? Was it put out to bid?

    If it’s over $50,000 the school board should be voting on this – NO? If not, why is the Superintendent and his facility director passing this on for payment by the finance department?

    I would go further and say why are our tax dollars paying for non-educational activities? Don’t we have people at TPS to work with children? We do not need to pay the Urban League after their previous “suspect audits” of not accounting for kids or lunches (sound familiar Seattle?), nor Safe Streets or small business associations, UB hubs with our educational tax dollars!!!

    Frankly all these non-profits in the name of children, poor should be a questionable use of educational dollars altogether. Time to ask your school board members and superintendent to answer some hard pressed questions as to why our tax dollars are going to this non-profits.

  2. Judie — I agree if there is money to be spent it should be spent in our own community if possible, but I’m wondering why you are advocating the job be given to a business owned by a woman or minority. That is discrimination.

  3. cclngthr says:

    First off, what the purpose of Urban League is about also involves education of those who are minority or does not match regular white mainstream society. Is the district meeting their needs? Same with other non-profits.

    Whether you think about it or not, the issues in society do come up in the classroom. Involving other non-profit agencies and services within the education can make it easier for the district to do its job. If a kid has issues with mental health, having a contract with Greater Lakes Mental Healthcan free up the district from having to hire specialists in that area. Same with Catholic Community Services. The services of that agency can be better than what the district can provide, at a lower cost of hiring specialists to do that in house.

    The federal regulations on equal access/opportunity also involve contract services. Vendors have to be firms that are owned by and employ people that are a mixture of gender and ethnic backgrounds. They can’t be all male and white.

  4. cc — Right. It has to be a mixture. Only hiring firms owned by women or minorities is not a mixture.

  5. olympicmtn says:

    cc: Suggest you read the audits of the Urban League in Tacoma over the years and then come back and chat…

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