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Cooperative Purchasing

Cooperative purchasing (formerly “piggybacking”) applies when one district purchases property using a contract that has been awarded to a vendor by another district. County Counsel opinion authorizes districts to utilize this type of purchasing provided that they comply with the following conditions:

  • Ensure that the originating district has complied with all of the competitive bidding requirements before the purchase is made. We recommend that you thoroughly inspect the originating district’s bidding process for compliance, or engage legal counsel to do so, in order to gain confidence in the legality of the originating district’s bid process.
  • The originating district’s bid documentation and approved contract must contain language such as “other school and community college districts located in [California or designated counties] may request to purchase identical items at the same prices and upon the same terms and conditions.” 
  • Upon receipt of the property, verify that it meets the specifications set forth in the original contract. 
  • When paying for the property, you may either draw a warrant in favor of the originating district or make the payment directly to the vendor depending on the arrangements made.

For additional information and minimum audit documentation required for cooperative purchasing please refer to the Accounts Payable Manual.


Standard School Supply and Equipment List

The Santa Barbara County Education Office has joined with two other county offices to share Standard School Supply (SSS) lists in accordance with Education Code Sections 38110 and 38112.  All the contracts have been competitively bid in accordance with the California Public Contract Code and only those contracts identified in their terms and conditions to be part of an SSS list are included. 

Contract pricing is available, not only for common instructional supplies such as construction paper, glue, paint, but also for technology products, furniture, library books and online subscriptions, health and safety supplies, hardware for vocational education and the trades, plus products for special education, health, libraries, janitorial needs, turf management, and fine art.

Select the links below to access the SSS list contracts:

  • The Monterey County Office of Education participates with the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies, a partnership with co-ops in 29 other states, whose leverage has attracted bids from major vendors like School Specialty, Lakeshore, CDWG, and Mackin. (registration required)

  • The Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCOS) partners with the national PEPPM Technology Cooperative with 300+ major technology brand contracts.

Ordering instructions for each contract are posted on the respective websites.  Always include the agency and its contract number on a purchase order.  Procedures for the submission of purchase orders usually fall into one of these approaches:

  •  Shop for an item on a website and send a purchase order to a contracted vendor directly.
  •  Coordinate with a vendor’s sales representative, ask for voluntary discounts or quotes, and   send a P.O. to the awarded vendor.
  •  For districts who have existing website accounts with a contracted vendor: ask the sales rep to convert pricing to the new contract, then shop and buy as normal.
  • For KCOS/PEPPM contracts, make the purchase order out to the contracted vendor and email the PO to the PEPPM Purchase Order Clearinghouse (unless ordering instructions allow otherwise).
U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
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California Dept. of General Services (DGS)
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Public Surplus
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