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 Debarred Vendors  Procurement Process  Department Contacts  Bid Tabulations  Insurance Requirements  Bidding on Contracts  Goods & Services  Delivery & Payment  M/WBE Goals

Doing Business with CPS

2014 General Contractors Greet and Meet
January 23, 2014 from 2pm - 5pm at Old Powell Elementary! This event will offer the chance to network with General Contractors and other firms from a variety of industries to build more diverse M/WBE business partnerships. Invite: Click here, Registration Form: Click here.


The Chicago Public Schools is the third largest school district in the nation with 431,000 students enrolled in approximately 600 schools. The school system purchases a wide variety of commodities essential for the day-to-day operation of the school system. Any qualified individual or business who has a product or service to sell can become a supplier for the Chicago Public Schools. There are numerous business opportunities for suppliers to provide a wide range of goods and technical and consulting services.

In order to become a supplier and be eligible to do business with the Chicago Public Schools, your business must meet the following requirements.

  1. You must receive approval to do business with the Chicago Public Schools and register as a supplier. Submit a "Supplier's Application for Chicago Public Schools Supplier Number".

    • Effective Immediately:
      The Department of Procurement and Contracts will not accept unsolicited vendor applications. Procurement and Contracts will only review applications that are sponsored by a School Principal or CPS Director who state the intent to use the services of the potential vendor. If you wish to apply for a CPS supplier number, please have the Principal or Director send an email to: purchaseorders@cps.edu.
  2. All suppliers must comply with the Remedial Plan For Minority And Women Business Enterprise Economic Participation (M/WBE Program). In order to be designated as a minority or women-owned business, you must be certified by the City of Chicago. For information on becoming certified by the City, please read about M/WBE certification at the City's web site. More information about the M/WBE Program is available.
  3. Suppliers also must comply with the Chicago Public Schools' Ethics Policy and Indebtedness Policy.
  4. Suppliers must comply with all applicable laws, ordinances and statutes.
  5. Suppliers must be cognizant of the Debarment Policy

Debarment List

Pursuant to the Debarment Policy of the Chicago Public Schools (08-1217-PO1), the vendors on this list (click here) have been debarred and are prohibited from doing business with CPS.

Procurement Process

Procurements of $10,001.00 or more for biddable goods or services and for $25,001.00 or more for non-biddable goods or services, per supplier, per CPS unit, per fiscal year, must be reported to and approved by the Board of Education.  New Board Rules take effect November 1, 2004. Please review attached PowerPoint for details.

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Department Contacts

Each division of the Department of Procurement and Contracts may contacted at:
Tel.: 773-553-2280
Fax: 773-553-2302
E-mail: purchasing@csc.cps.k12.il.us

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Bid Tabulations

View bid tabulations. Bids are subject to review for completeness, accuracy, and compliance with all terms and conditions provided in the bid solicitation. Please note that a posted tabulation may be a preliminary tabulation which has not been reviewed for responsiveness and responsibility. It is possible that the lowest bidder will not be awarded the contract because of non-responsiveness or non-responsibility. A contract is not finally awarded until it has been approved via a Board Report by the Board of Education.

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Insurance Requirements

Effective May 30, 2012, all vendors that do business with the Board of Education are required to carry insurance coverage. All vendors will be required to register with the Board designated insurance monitoring company. Website: www.cpsvendorcert.com

For Small Business Vendors unable to secure insurance coverage elsewhere, CPS has made this program available as a courtesy for those individuals or groups who are required to obtain Commercial General Liability Insurance associated with on-site activities at Chicago Public School (“CPS”) locations. To request coverage, click here for application.

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Bidding on Contracts

Once you become a CPS supplier, you are eligible to market your services to individual schools and CPS departments.

For some goods and services, suppliers must be part of a "pre-qualified pool" in order to sell or provide services to the schools. Periodically, opportunities to join a pre-qualified pool open, such as upon expiration of an existing pre-qualification contract, or when a new pre-qualification contract is announced. Suppliers may apply to join a pre-qualified pool through a competitive process, the Request for Qualification. Watch this web site for opportunities.

Unless specified otherwise, any business may respond to bid/proposal solicitations. However, a business which is not already registered as a CPS supplier must register as a CPS supplier as one condition of being awarded a contract. Bid solicitations, Requests for Qualifications, and Requests for Proposals are advertised on this web site and in the Chicago Tribune classified section. If you see an opportunity upon which you would like to bid, you may also pick up a copy of the solicitation document at the Department of Procurement and Contracts at 125 South Clark Street, 10th Floor.

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Goods and Services used by the CPS

This list is provided as an example. Business opportunities are available for providing many more goods and services. Check our bid/proposal list regularly for notices of opportunities. Please also note that our strategic sourcing initiative is changing the way we purchase some goods and services, starting with printing; computer, duplicating, and audio-visual equipment; and office and school supplies.

  • Computers and Related Services - Computer hardware and computer services such as cabling, networking and training are powerful instruction tools used in the schools and administrative departments. This area is covered by Strategic Sourcing.
  • Textbooks - Individual schools purchase textbooks based on curriculum requirements. The Department of Procurement & Contracts is currently negotiating prices on CPS specific bundles with our top five textbook suppliers. However, the decision of what to purchase and from whom remains at the school level. Contact the principal of each school.
  • Library Books - Library Books are covered under the Strategic Sourcing Initiative. Any library book purchases should be processed through a strategic sourcing selected supplier.
  • Transportation - Transportation is a vital service contracted by the Board for field trips, charter service and the safe delivery of children to and from school.
  • Construction-Related Projects - For information on how to get involved on these projects, contact the Contracts Division.
  • Food and Food Services - The school system provides breakfast and lunch programs for its students.
  • Office Supplies - This area is covered by Strategic Sourcing.

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Delivery & Payment Process

Once goods or services are provided, an original invoice must be submitted directly to the Accounts Payable Department for payment. Invoices are generally processed within 30 days of receipt. More information is available in the Supplier Payment Guide from Accounts Payable.

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Meeting M/WBE Goals

The Affirmative Action Program is an integral part of the overall procurement process to guarantee that economic development, inclusion and equity is afforded to all businesses in the communities in which children reside. The Chicago Public Schools is committed to working with the minority and women business community to provide quality goods and services. Please visit our M/WBE information page for more information about the Affirmative Action Program.

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Department of Procurement & Contracts
125 South Clark, 10th Floor, Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 773-553-2280 Fax: 773-553-2302
Email: purchasing@cps.k12.il.us
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