The Value of Membership

"I could not have survived 30 years in school business without the support I've received from ASBO. No matter how much you may think your problem is unique, it's not. I've always found support from colleagues facing the same issues no matter where they work, and I've shared solutions. We have a lot to learn from one another, so I value my memberships in Tri-State ASBO, New Hampshire ASBO, Vermont ASBO, and ASBO International."
—John Aubin, South Burlington School District, South Burlington, Vermont
Member since 1992

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U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance

ASBO International Strategic Partner

ASBO is a proud co-founder of U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance—the leading national purchasing cooperative that reduces the cost of goods and services for schools.  By aggregating the nationwide purchasing power of public agencies and education institutions, U.S. Communities provides school solutions through a broad line of competitively solicited contracts. Our suppliers have committed to providing their lowest overall public agency pricing as well as delivering comprehensive solutions and value-added services.
The program offers:

  • No User Fees – no costs or fees to participate.
  • Best Overall Supplier Government Pricing – by combining the potential cooperative purchasing power of more than 90,000 public agencies, you are able to access the best overall supplier government pricing.
  • Quality Brands – thousands of the best brands in a wide variety of categories, services and solutions.
  • Integrity and Experience – unlike other government cooperative purchasing organizations, U.S. Communities national government purchasing cooperative is founded by 4 national sponsors, including ASBO International, and over 90 state, city, and regional organizations.
  • Oversight by Public Purchasing Professionals – our third party audits on contracts ensure that program pricing commitments are met, with benchmark analyses against other suppliers and retailers to guarantee participants the best overall value.
All contracts have been competitively solicited, evaluated, and awarded by an impartial lead public agency in accordance with their public purchasing rules and regulations. Applying these competitive principles satisfies the competitive bid requirements of most state and local government agencies.

For general information, visit the U.S. Communities website.

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News & Events

Proudly Sponsoring the Emerging School Business Leaders Scholarship

The Emerging School Business Leaders Scholarship is awarded annually to 18 school business professionals who have been in the profession for five years or less. Recipients earn a $2,000 scholarship to attend the Annual Meeting & Expo. Committed to supporting new school business officials and their professional development, ASBO International Strategic Partner U.S. Communities proudly sponsors the Emerging School Business Leaders Scholarship.

Learn more about the Emerging School Business Leaders Scholarship.

Strategic Partner Spotlight

Sharon Russell, U.S. Communities Senior Program Director

“What do you need?” When central office staff pose this question to school administrators, there usually is no shortage of replies. From playground equipment to janitorial supplies and everything in between, the needs are ongoing. Once those needs are identified, quite often the next question is, “What is it going to cost?” Thanks to the services of U.S. Communities, getting a straightforward answer—and the lowest possible cost—is easy.

Senior Program Director Sharon Russell explains that U.S. Communities, the leading national government purchasing cooperative, reduces the cost of goods and services by aggregating the purchasing power of public agencies across the country. By doing so, the cooperative can provide competitively priced procurement resources (contracts) and solutions to many different entities, including K–12 school districts.

U.S. Communities stands out from other cooperatives for several reasons, including its rigorous supplier commitments that ensure the best overall value. Supplier partners commit their absolute best value through U.S. Communities, which means you won’t find a better value with the same company through another cooperative or negotiate better pricing through your own request for proposal (RFP).

Sharon has been with U.S. Communities for about a year, and in her role, oversees its marketing plan with national sponsors—which includes ASBO International, one of its founders—as well as 93 state association sponsors, and city and county organizations. She has found that expertise from her previous careers as a high school chemistry and physics teacher and an attorney (she defended many cities, counties, and school systems in civil lawsuits) have been very useful. Her education background helps when dealing with a great number of contracts, and her law background comes into play when deciphering the variety of procurement laws across the states.

Through extensive contact with entities that use U.S. Communities’ services, Sharon continues to learn what types of solutions school districts need. She explains that when the organization was first launched in 1996, one of its earliest service areas was office supplies. “It wasn’t just the great price that people liked,” she says. “They also appreciated the ease of having a contract already in place.” Although that contract was dropped several years ago, a new one with Amazon Business was launched in February. Not only does it provide sought-after office supplies, but advances in technology allow users to track and filter purchases according to a host of different parameters.

“We work hard to ensure the U.S. Communities program stays with its roots,” Sharon says. “We serve the public sector, including schools, with transparency to help taxpayers save money. I like that what we do frees up schools and public entities to spend the money they saved on something else—perhaps another need that had to be met.”

U.S. Communities is the proud sponsor of ASBO’s Emerging School Business Leaders Scholarship. Each year, 18 school business officials who have been in the field five years or fewer are awarded a $2,000 scholarship to attend ASBO International’s Annual Meeting & Expo. “Getting a scholarship early in your career can encourage you to aim a little higher,” Sharon says.