|Posted:||January 14, 2019 10:23 AM|
|From:||Representative Anthony M. DeLuca|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Competitive Bidding (RFPs) for School Transportation Contracts|
|In a time when schools are being forced to raise taxes, increase class sizes, reduce staff, and cut programs due to budget constraints, it follows that all aspects of district spending be examined for competitiveness, including transportation. A proven way to do this is to use Requests for Proposals (RFPs).
Currently there is no provision in statute or regulation that requires RFPs for transportation services. Meanwhile, the PA Department of Education recommends it as a best practice and the Auditor General has taken districts to task when they don’t competitively bid.
The new law will require school districts to utilize a RFP process when awarding transportation contracts and contracts will be limited to two years, with one year extensions possible. Last session this was HB 349.
Regular evaluation and competitive bidding of transportation contracts provides control of costs and also provides transparency for taxpayers. Additionally, by requiring districts to re-assess these contracts every two to three years, it allows district officials the opportunity to more closely align transportation costs with current reimbursement rates.
By seeking regular competitive bids, districts will ensure they are getting the best possible price for transportation services. In some instances, the auditor general found that contracts had not been renegotiated and re-bid for over 10 years.
Another bonus to this system of bidding is that there may be a transportation provider unknown to a district able to provide comparable services at reduced costs.
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale revealed that in a two year span, 19 school districts spent $54.8 million in excess of their reimbursement from the Department of Education for transportation services.
These are much needed dollars that should be spent in our classrooms, educating our children.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.
Introduced as HB711