New report reveals how much Charleston Co. Schools spend with minority businesses
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A consulting firm hired by the Charleston County School District to conduct a disparity study made its first public account of findings Tuesday.
The district hired Miller3 Consulting at a cost of $200,000 to conduct the year-long disparity study, not on the district’s students but on its spending on women-owned and minority-owned businesses.
The district’s Audit and Finance Committee received the first report from Miller3 Consulting, revealing that its analysis determined about 17% of the district’s outside spending goes to minority businesses.
Part of their research suggests minority businesses aren’t always aware of the projects the district is bidding out and much of the time the district simply goes with the businesses they already have a relationship with.
Dave Miller Jr. with the consulting firm says the district has done pretty well, but there is room for improvement.
“We put forth there are some opportunities for the district to have a little less reliance on certain vendors and to be more inclusive. To be more diverse,” he said.
Despite the study, district staff members say the district is reaching both state and district minority spending requirements.
“The state has a 10 percent MBE participation requirement. The district has a 20 percent. We have met our goal pretty consistently. I know in FY22 we exceeded that goal,” Chief Financial Officer Channa Williams said. “To Mr. Miller’s point, it’s not that we are not meeting our goal, it’s more so making sure our practices are equitable.”
The full report is expected to be finalized at the end of the month.
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