The New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) applauded Gov. Murphy for signing into law legislation that will help school districts purchase, at an affordable price, the COVID-19 supplies they need to restart and maintain in-person instruction.
The new law, which was signed on May 5, directs the state to enter into contracts and coordinate with cooperative purchasing systems to help public schools find what they need to safely reopen the state’s schools.
“This legislation will provide school districts with both cost savings and the ability to more easily procure COVID-19 goods and services,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, executive director of the NJSBA. “It will aid school districts in their efforts to get students, teachers, and staff back to in-person learning with the necessary health safeguards. We are grateful to the governor, the Legislature and the bill’s chief sponsors, Senate Education Committee chair M. Teresa Ruiz and Assembly Education Committee chair Pamela Lampitt for taking this action.”
The NJSBA actively supported the bill, which was part of the Association’s “Pandemic Advocacy Agenda” outlined in its August 2020 report, Choosing the Best Road Back for Our Children.
By participating in cooperative purchasing plans, school districts gain the benefits that result from a cooperative’s joint purchasing power. A cooperative also lessens the administrative burden on boards of education by relieving them of the need to advertise or solicit bids for the types of COVID-19 related products and services recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
NJSBA’s Cooperative Pricing System NJSBA member districts can gain this collective procurement capability by becoming members of the Association’s Cooperative Pricing System (CPS). The CPS, which includes the Alliance for Competitive Energy Services (ACES) and the NJSBA Technology for Education and Careers (TEC) program, has been expanded to include COVID-19 goods and services.
As part of the CPS, NJSBA can help districts acquire medical products, technology security services, support for educators delivering hybrid instruction, and other programs to meet both immediate needs and those expected for fall 2021. Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face shields, masks and gloves, hand sanitizer, non-contact digital infrared thermometers, sterilization tools, and plexiglass guards are among the items available through the CPS.