rATV-:.DJEPA&RT-MENT OF EDUCATION
a in En~gfleh, Superinterndnt
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School Supply Management
for Improvement of Schools
Bulletin No. 31
FLORIDA WORK CONFERENCE
ON SCHOOL ADMINISTRATIVE PROBLEMS
Edgar L. Morphet, Director
University of Florida
Prepared by the
COMMITTEE ON SCHOOL SUPPLY MANAGEMENT
Mary Persinger Ross, Chairman
T. George Walker, Editor and Consultant
STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Colin English, Superintendent
no, 3 /
Mary Persinger Ross, Chairman,
Principal, West Shore School, Port Tampa City.
Reuben E. Brunson, Principal, Malone School, Malone.
John Marshall Davies, Principal, Taylor County High School, Perry.
Earl Charles Deck, Attendance Assistant, Alachua County, Gainesville.
William J. Ferrazzi, Assistant Principal, St. Augustine High School,
John Dekle Milton, Principal, Sneads Schools, Sneads.
Glenn A. Wilson, Central Junior High School, West Palm Beach.
Mrs. Marian Black, Instructor, Florida State College for Women,
Vivien Crum, Trustee, Polk County, Homeland.
Vera Dumas, Teacher, St. Petersburg High School, St. Petersburg.
A. S. Edwards, Superintendent Public Instruction,
Escambia County, Pensacola.
Olen C. English, County Board Member, Hardee County, Wauchula.
Harry Gause, Manager, Supplies and Textbooks,
Pinellas County, Clearwater.
James L. Graham, Supervisor, School Plant Planning,
State Department of Education, Tallahassee.
Addie Virginia Hamilton, Student, P. K. Yonge Laboratory School,
George W. Marks, Superintendent Public Instruction, Volusia County.
W. H. Marshall, Principal, Sealey Memorial School, Tallahassee.
Walter J. Matherly, Dean, College of Commerce and Business
Administration, University of Florida, Gainesville.
George W. Monroe, County Board Member, Gadsden County, Quincy.
Mrs. B. F. Parvin, Representating State Parent Teacher Association,
Ballard Simmons, Jr., Student, P. K. Yonge Laboratory School,
A. P. Walter, Business Manager, Dade County Schools, Miami.
Howell L. Watkins, Principal, Palm Beach High School,
West Palm Beach.
Bryan Willis, State Auditor, Tallahassee.
Edgar L. Morphet, Director, Division of Administration and Finance,
State Department of Education.
T. George Walker, Manager, State Textbook and Supply Service,
State Department of Education.
The Committee on School Supply Management, partici-
pating in the Florida Work Conference on School Adminis-
trative Problems, has prepared a handbook which should
prove to be helpful to all who have responsibilities for se-
lection, purchase, distribution or use of school supplies. The
handbook not only presents specific suggestions, but also,
oftentimes, presents complete outlines for procedure.
In preparation of this handbook the committee has been
constantly aware of the contribution made to the literature
on school supplies by the Southern States Work Conference
through their publication "School Supply Management."
Each of the principles advocated in the Summary and Rec-
ommendations of that publication has been approved by the
Florida Work Conference Committee on supplies and equip-
ment. These principles have been changed and adapted
only insofar as such changes and adaptations were neces-
sary to make them more useful to Florida school adminis-
trators. The committee has considered it appropriate to
incorporate these principles in Chapter X of this handbook
in order to give wider circulation and greater force to the
recommendations of the regional group.
The committee has been cognizant of the many variables
existing among the county school systems in Florida such
as differences in philosophy, fiscal ability, size and
organization. While these differences have occasioned
difficulties in presentation, a publication has been
developed which should prove to be an aid to ad-
ministration in any county school system of the State.
The committee is to be congratulated not only for
producing an outstanding piece of work in its own right
but also for securing the services of an advisory committee
representing authoritative points of view and experience
in every phase of the service.
It is my hope that the handbook will be studied carefully
by those with responsibilities for school supply management
and that wherever the principles outlined in the study are
applicable they will be made matters both of policy and
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I Importance of Supplies . . .
II Organization for Administration . .
III Determination of Needs . ...
Who Shall Determine the Need .
How Should Needs be Determined .
When Should Needs be Determined .
IV Determination of Ability to Purchase
School Funds .. ....
Determination of Available Revenue
Use of Available Revenue . .
Unit Cost per Pupil . . .
Requisitions . . . .
V Specifications . . . .
VI Procurement . . .. . .
Bids and Bid Procedure . . .
Contracts . . . .
VII Distribution . . .
Central Storage . . .
Storage in the School Buildings .
Delivery . . . . .
Test for Quality . . .
Accounts and Forms . .
Requisition Forms . . .
Requisition Tabulation Form .
Forms for Bidding. . .
Contracts . . .
Contract Bonds. . .
Purchase Order Forms .
Stores Disbursement Record .
X Summary Recommendations .
. . 32
. . 32
. . 36
. . 38
. . 43
. . 43
. . 47
. . 47
. . 51
. . 56
. . 58
. . 59
. . 61
IMPORTANCE OF SUPPLIES
School administrators recognize that the efficiency of
the educational program is determined, in some degree,
by the quantity, quality and adequacy of the available
school supplies and school equipment.
Supplies are teaching tools, just as saws and hammers
are tools of building construction. In one science class the
children listen to an instructor explain that acid in contact
with blue litmus paper will produce a color change in the
paper. In a second science class the instructor after issuing
a small amount of acid and a piece of blue litmus paper to
each child, instructs him to ascertain the effect the acid
will have on the blue litmus paper. The latter is illustrative
of how supplies, acid and litmus paper, may be a specific
aid to the instructional process. In this class, there is a
challenge to the child not found in the first. The instructor
employs a better teaching method which will insure better
results, not because he is more able than the first teacher
but because he has supplies which serve his instructional
Supplies are intrinsically valuable in the building of
good habits. For example, the children of one school in
which soap and towels are not furnished go from play di-
rectly to class. Because of dirty, sweaty hands they soil
their books and other materials of instruction. Habits of
slovenliness are unconsciously formed which may be difficult
to break. Another school furnishes soap, water and towels
and insists that they be used. Children of this school pride
themselves on their clean books and papers; and it is im-
portant that they should; but, even more important, habits
of cleanliness, which are fundamental to health, decency
and respectability are being developed.
Whether we are concerned with the smallest one-room
school or the largest city school system, the needs are many
and complex. It is not necessarily true that the more com-
plete the supply source for a given school, the better will
be the educational results. However, this fact is true; in
many schools, educators and custodians are handicapped
because of poorly selected and insufficient supplies. Some
School Supply Management in Florida
schools are not furnished with any supplies and the parents
are called upon for continual purchases. The teacher or
principal, knowing as he does that many families in the
community can ill afford to make such expenditures and
knowing in other instances that school demands are irritat-
ing limits his requests of the parents to a minimum. As a
consequence, the instructional efficiency of his school is
often handicapped because of these deficiencies of instruc-
tional materials. Such handicaps may easily serve to retard
A few years ago, the working tools of a teacher con-
sisted of slates, erasers, paper and pencils, but with con-
stant revision and expansion of the curriculum the variety
and number of items required to conduct a school have in-
creased. Schools today are using more completion, mul-
tiple choice and other objective tests to determine the
grade level of children. This may well require the pur-
chase of a duplicating machine and an increased supply
of paper. Supplies are of increasing importance in manual,
domestic and industrial arts; in school libraries; and in
laboratories for the social and physical sciences on the
secondary school level, and in all subject matter areas for
elementary school instruction. Schools have accordingly
placed greater emphasis on school supplies to meet chang-
ing conditions in their curricula. In short, modern courses
of study place increasing emphasis upon laboratory
methods rather than upon textbook teaching. As a result,
classes working upon a specific unit, such as "cotton" or
"coal" will need a great many more supplies than if the
materials were presented only from the printed page.
The amount appropriated and spent for supplies rep-
resents a small percentage of the total annual budget of a
public school system, but the amount is large enough to
be worthy of careful study. All who have responsibilities
for supply management must not only study the field in
order to provide efficient curricula aids but also must
practice economy in administration of the funds entrusted
to them. To that end it is highly important that organiza-
tion for the service be perfected.
ORGANIZATION FOR ADMINISTRATION
The Florida school system is so organized that general
control of the schools is vested in the State Board of Educa-
tion, while immediate control is vested in the County
Boards of Public Instruction. It is suggested that school
boards, trustees, principals, teachers and custodians will all
find information in this handbook which will enable them
better to perform their duties and responsibilities in supply
The County Board of Public Instruction
The only restrictions upon the county school officers in
the conduct of their offices are the legal controls of statute
and State Board of Education regulation.
The County Board is the policy determining body for
the county school system, and, as such, it is in a position to
establish policies which will improve the school supply
services. The policies which are approved by the County
Board will determine in large degree the effectiveness of
school supply management. The committee strongly urges
the membership of the several county boards to study the
principles enunciated here and, if approved, to make them
matters of board policy.
School District Trustees
School District trustees are in a position to fulfill a func-
tion of importance to the supply management services of
the schools in their districts. They should be aware of
school needs for supplies and should be conscious of their
responsibility to interpret those needs to the county school
officials and to the school community. Exercise of this dual
function of interpretation is important.
On occasions it is necessary vigorously to support the
principals' requisitions for supplies in order that the school
may be properly equipped. Less often, but of occasional
frequency, it is necessary to hold the demands of an ag-
gressive principal or custodian in check or school funds
will be wasted.
4 School Supply Management in Florida
The importance of interpreting school needs to the
community and justifying expenditures for them cannot be
over-emphasized. The trustees because of their relation-
ship to the schools and to the electorate are in a peculiarly
strategic position to bring about mutual appreciation of
problems. If the community understands the needs there
will be no quarrel about costs provided of course that needs
and costs bear a proper relationship to each other.
The trustees may determine in some degree to what
extent school supply needs will be furnished through their
powers of approval of the district budget and their powers
of recommendations to the county school officials. It is
perhaps needless to say that these functions should not be
exercised arbitrarily; before acting on any of these ques-
tions the trustees should have discussed the problems with
both the superintendent and school principal and should
act only upon informed judgment.
The County Superintendent
The County Superintendent, as the executive officer for
the board, acting under laws, rules and regulations, and
with the approval of the board should serve as purchasing
agent for the school system or if he has delegated this ac-
tivity to an assistant he should maintain general supervision
over the program of purchases. It is the superintendent's
responsibility to prepare or direct the preparation of the
budget. The need for supplies is definite and those needs
should be recognized by provision for a definite place in
the budget. What that place is and how it is determined are
reserved for later pages in the study. It is sufficient to say
here that the superintendent perhaps in greater degree
than any other individual has it within his power to make
or break the school supply service.
Principal and Staff
The principal and his staff, actually working with in-
structional supplies, are in a better position than any other
group to determine the kind and quality of the supplies
needed. It is recommended that they have a definite part
Organization for Administration 5
in the definition and selection of the materials of instruc-
tion. This part will be discussed in full under the actual
process of determining the needs of the school.
The custodian performs an important function both in
selection and use of supplies. Through his effort he may
contribute to both efficiency and economy of the service.
If he is not both capable and dependable, the entire plan
for supply protection and distribution within the school is
almost certain to fail.
DETERMINATION OF NEEDS
The determination of the needs of a school system
should be approached and conducted on the basis of
planned procedures. Some of the questions which are
applicable for consideration of any specific need are the
1. Is the article essential?
2. Is the article adequate for and suited to
the function it is expected to perform?
3. How well and how long will it perform
4. Is the cost reasonable for the quality, util-
ity, and services rendered?
WHO SHALL DETERMINE THE NEED
It may be assumed that the persons who use the sup-
plies are in a better position than others to know how well
supplies fulfill their functions. It is important then that
this body of specialized knowledge should play an impor-
tant part in selection.
The final responsibility for ascertaining needs falls to
the lot of the principal. Depending on the type of the
school system, he gains the information as to the needs of
the school from many sources. The more important sources
of information are through conferences with individual
staff members and heads of departments, consideration of
needs at faculty meetings, meetings with the board of trus-
tees, and consultation with the County Superintendent.
The custodian or janitor is an important source of in-
formation who should not be overlooked. The principal
should arrange consultations with these employees. They
will need to consider among others such questions as the
following: What type paper towel is best suited to the
school's need? The article needs be no better than its
adequate use demands, but it is poor economy to supply
an article which does not adequately meet the need. Per-
haps the custodian has kept a record of the quality of
towels and is able to specify which quality, in his opinion
and experience, is the best buy. The principal and custodian
will weigh and examine every needed supply in the light
of its usefulness and adequacy for the school.
Determination of Needs
The attention of the principal is directed to Bulletin
No. 13, School Plant Operation and Maintenance in Flor-
ida, published by the State Department of Education; val-
uable information and procedures are given for the person
serving as custodian. In Chapter V, beginning on page 49,
will be found:
1. Standard supplies needed in sweeping
duties (p. 51)
2. Methods of cleaning various kinds of sur-
faces (p. 53)
3. Solvents for removing stains (pp. 57 and
4. List of lawn tools (p. 61)
5. Miscellaneous small tools (p. 61)
6. Preparation recipes for custodial supplies
Small schools will rely greatly on the advice of the
County Superintendent or supervisor. In the larger system,
the total money spent for supplies may warrant the em-
ployment of a purchasing agent with assistants to admin-
ister both the program of purchase and distribution. The
persons who undertake the responsibility of selection of
supplies should be those who know and understand the
needs and activities in the schools.
HOW SHOULD NEEDS BE DETERMINED
Changing curricula, changing methods in instruction,
changing standards of materials, necessitate periodic
changes in the items on the supply lists. It must be borne
in mind, too, that many firms change formulae for material
from year to year. Chalk, listed this year under a catalog
designation, may not be the same grade of chalk that was
listed last year under the same classification.
Some of the more common questions which will need
to be answered in determination of supply needs are the
following: What are the supplies on hand? What supplies
have been consumed during the year?
For an answer to these it will be advisable to turn to an
adequate inventory record. Such a record should reveal:
(1) How many items there are on hand, (2) What kind of
any one item there is on hand and (3) Where every supply
8 School Supply Management in Florida
is in the school plant or in the school system. Some supply
managers use a visible perpetual inventory in order that
the amount on hand may be given for all items at a mo-
ment's notice. A perpetual inventory is not suggested for
the small supply stock because it would, perhaps, be un-
economical, costing more money than it saves and costing
more time for upkeep than is justified. An inventory should
be taken in every system at least once each year before
the preliminary supply order is made up. The inventory,
as such, will be considered more fully later in this hand-
Every school because of its size, location, and type,
whether progressive or traditional, will require a different
supply list. However, there are certain supplies essential
to most schools. A supply list which may have a suggestive
value for adaptation is given below:
Blank. Business Forms
Board. Show, Poster
Brush, Test Tube
Cards, Index 3x5.
Index Cards. 3x-i
Lumber (Manual or
Paper. Tag Board
Pencils, Comr. Writing
or Industrial Arts)
Brush. Toilet Bowl
County & School
Determination of Needs
A supply list such as the above is a point from which
to start. Over a period of years every school will formulate
its own list. Perhaps each local school system will wish to
modify the list by additions, omissions and a reclassifica-
tion of items. After the list has been accepted every item
which appears upon it will need to be defined by a specifica-
tion. Discussion upon the point will be provided in later
pages of this chapter.
The quantity of supplies needed may be estimated to
some degree by a standard list and an estimate of the com-
ing year's enrollment. The enrollment for any specific
grade or for the entire school is readily determined in most
cases. For the first grade a canvas of kindergartens, the
summer round-up conducted by the local P.T.A., and a re-
quest throughout the grades for names of beginners furnish
the total number of incoming first graders. Junior high
schools receive estimates of the total number entering in
the fall from the elementary schools. Senior high schools
receive from the junior high schools the number to expect
as the next year's sophomores. Frequently, the ninth grade
children are enrolled in the senior high school and their
tentative schedules are completed before school closes in
the spring. It is not difficult to obtain the enrollment fore-
cast in the majority of schools and such a forecast is very
helpful in determining the quantities of supplies to be
However, a community which has many transients or
which has a great influx of tourists who enter about the
fourth month of the school term and leave sometime be-
tween March and the close of school, has a problem pe-
culiar to itself in establishing the supply needs which will
be influenced by its enrollment. Some schools keep over
a period of years a comparable record of enrollment taken
at specified times as the opening date, the beginning of the
fourth month, the beginning of the sixth month, and the
In this way they establish over a long period the prob-
able increase and probable drop in enrollment during the
year. Many sections of Florida are experiencing unusual
10 School Supply Management in Florida
enrollment variations because of the location of military
bases in their vicinity. An administrator should be careful
neither to underestimate nor to overestimate the effect the
influx of new families will have on his school. It is wise to
take anticipated enrollment into consideration when de-
termining the quantity of supplies which will be needed,
although in some instances enrollment seems hardly pre-
Cooperation Within the Staff
There must be cooperation within the faculty when the
requisition for supplies is evaluated. Frequently two or
more individuals need the same item and have requested
it on the school supply list. Here the principal, noting the
duplication, consults with his staff members and is able, in
many cases, to limit the order to one article which will
amply fill the needs of the two instructors. In the case of
the history department's request, maps and globes may be
available in other social science courses. Or, if two depart-
ments are ordering a set of maps, it is logical to suppose
that one set, perhaps a little more complete, will fill the
dual role. Both the chemistry and biology laboratories
need microscopes; with a little cooperation and planning,
one set of microscopes will serve both classes.
The principal, whether he makes his list of supply
needs in the faculty meeting, or by speaking individually to
each instructor, or to heads of departments, is able to point
out opportunities for cooperation within the school staff.
WHEN SHOULD NEEDS BE DETERMINED
Final lists are compiled on the basis of the staff's state-
ment of its need. Now, these needs do not arise all at once.
Throughout the year needs have been felt. The foresighted
instructor keeps a notation of his needs during the year. He
should keep a commentary on the adequacy of the articles
which have been issued him. He will, while using the
articles, be subjecting them to the finest test which can be
given: the test of "use." He can, after the year's use,
answer the most important question of all: Does this item
Determination of Needs 11
adequately meet the need? He is, with his written nota-
tions, able not only to state his needs for the coming year,
but to state advantages and disadvantages of items used
during the current year.
Time of Final Compilation
Final lists cannot be made up early in the school year.
The time for final compilation is as early in the second se-
mester as is practicable. March and April seem the best
months for most schools.
DETERMINATION OF ABILITY TO PURCHASE
After the supply needs have been determined, it is then
necessary to ascertain the revenue available for the pur-
chase of these supplies. It is the responsibility of the County
Superintendent to determine the amount of available rev-
enue both for the several district current school funds and
the county current fund.
It is the responsibility of the County Superintendent to
determine the amount of available revenue both for the
several District Current School Funds and the County Cur-
rent School Fund.
The District Current School Fund
It frequently happens that the chief source of revenue
for the purchase of school supplies is the District Current
School Fund. These funds are derived largely from a dis-
trict school tax for the maintenance and support of schools
voted at the biennial election. The County Board recom-
mends the levy needed in each district, after considering
the supply needs as well as the other needs necessary to
carry out the school program of the district as recom-
mended by the teachers, custodians, principals and super-
intendent. If the recommended levy is less than the maxi-
mum levy and the trustees, after studying the needs of the
district, feel that the County Board has not recommended
ample millage to secure these needs, it is their duty to pro-
pose a higher millage so long as this proposed millage does
not exceed the maximum levy provided by law. The levy
recommended by the trustees if it is consistent with the
statute and if it exceeds the levy recommended by the
County Board, is placed upon the ballot. (Sec. 423 (12-c)
and Sec. 433 (12-c) of the School Code.) The millage ap-
proved by the voters becomes the official levy. The District
Current School Fund must be used for the support of schools
in the district. It cannot be used or borrowed for any other
district. (Sec. 1030.)
Determination of Ability to Purchase
The County Current School Fund
Another important source of revenue for securing sup-
plies comes from the County Current School Fund. Accord-
ing to the Constitution of the State of Florida, "the County
Board may certify each year a county millage levy not less
than three mills nor more than ten mills for the operation
and maintenance of the schools" (Article XII, Section 8).
Some counties receive racing commission funds for the use
of schools, this fund may also become part of the County
Current School Fund, if not limited in its use by legislative
enactment. When the federal vocational funds are reim-
bursed, the reimbursement becomes a part of the County
Current School Fund. Other funds, such as those derived
from the sale of land, donations, insurance adjustments, ap-
propriations by county commissioners, and the monies re-
ceived from the National Forest Fund are credited to the
County Current School Fund.
This fund may be used for any school purpose whatever
and is the only fund which may be used in that manner.
Because of this fact the County Current School Fund should
be used as an equalizing fund to assure the procurement of
the essential supplies which are not provided for by the
District Current School Fund.
DETERMINATION OF AVAILABLE REVENUE
In order properly to plan for the supply needs and for
the other needs of the system it is necessary to know how
much money will be available. In this connection it may
be well to point out that it is the duty of the County Super-
intendent to obtain from the County Tax Assessor (Sec.
1066) an estimate of the total valuation reasonably to be
expected by him to be assessed on the current year's tax
roll for non-exempt property, for homestead property, and
for tax delinquent property on which certificates are held
by the state, in each school district separately and in
the entire county.
The County Superintendent, using the total assessed val-
uation for the district secured from the tax assessor and the
millage as determined by law, should multiply the assessed
valuation by the millage to obtain the estimated available
revenue for each district. He will, in this way, obtain for
14 School Supply Management in Florida
each school district of the county the amount of available
revenue for the districts separately. He may determine the
available revenue for the County Current School Fund by
using the total assessed valuation of the entire county,
which must be multiplied by the millage set by the County
USE OF AVAILABLE REVENUE
The importance of supplies as they relate to the effi-
ciency of the educational program should be studied care-
fully before making the budget. Many administrators in
the past have not used proper foresight in fiscal adminis-
tration and as a result many school districts now have to
put aside most of their tax money to pay off interest and
principal on old indebtedness. While no criticism is in-
tended for this liquidation or amortization of old debts, it
should be pointed out that this process consumes a large
portion of the revenue intended for the operation of the
schools. In many instances planning the payment of out-
standing indebtedness over a period of years will prevent
a reduction in necessary educational supplies and materials.
Who Determines Use of Available Revenue
The County Superintendent is responsible for directing
the preparation of the budget, in accordance with the pro-
visions of Section 1067 of the Code. In the preparation of
the budget for each school district, the County Superinten-
dent, acting as the executive officer of the Board, should
consult with the principal or principals of the various
schools of that district relative to their supply and mainten-
ance needs. The County Superintendent and the principal
or principals of the district should work together as a com-
mittee. This committee functioning as a unit, should be
able to evaluate the supply and maintenance needs for the
district more efficiently than if the County Superintendent
undertook to perform the task alone.
How Available Revenue Will be Apportioned
The County Superintendent and the principals acting
as a committee, should determine what supply and main-
tenance use will be made of the revenue available. The co-
Determination of Ability to Purchase
operative planning group probably can reach a better
understanding of the problems involved than could any one
or two of the group working independently. The use of the
revenue is determined by the needs and the funds should
be allocated to secure these needs.
In order to apportion the funds equitably, the committee
must make a study of the budget as a whole. This study
is essential in order to provide a satisfactory distribution
to the supply field as well as to the other fields in the alloca-
tion of the funds. Here they would determine the relative
importance of the items requested in the several fields.
That is, in making the apportionment, the various fixed
charges would first be allotted the necessary revenue. Hav-
ing taken care of the fixed charges, the other fields should
then be studied as to their need. In determining the appor-
tionment to the supply field, several questions arise: (1)
Will the efficiency of the school system be limited by the
amount of material or supplies provided? (2) Will the
amount to be expended for the proposed material be out of
proportion to the amount to be expended for the other items
of the budget in terms of assured needs?
The County Superintendent is responsible to the County
Board for maintaining the school system on a sound finan-
cial basis. In order to exercise this function properly, a
balance must be maintained between the different items of
the budget. If an excessive amount is expended for the
operation of the plant, other items must necessarily be re-
duced to avoid creating a deficit. On the other hand, it is
evident that efficient work cannot be carried on without
adequate materials of instruction.
Basis of Apportionment
In making the allocations, none of the levels of school
organization should receive funds out of proportion to the
other fields. The committee must keep in mind the problems
involved. They should consider, in determining the allot-
ment, such items as:
1. The type of school organization
2. The number of pupils in the system
3. The type of instructional program
4. The available revenue for the budget
5. The equitable distribution of available
funds among the items in the budget.
16 School Supply Management in Florida
As the needs for the various school levels are analyzed
and evaluated, the committee should consider the items re-
quested as to their relationship of cost to need and to utility.
In appraising the requests of the various school units
the committee must determine which items are of greatest
need. Some items are of paramount need; others will be of
secondary importance or non-essential. Undoubtedly the
needs will vary as to the school under consideration. For
example, will an 80c baseball in the lower grades perform
the same service as a ball costing $1.50? Is the same true
in the upper grades? The committee, after considering the
cost, quality, and performance, would probably decide that
the 80c ball would suffice for the lower grades; but the
upper grades should be supplied with the $1.50 ball. The
80c ball would probably last the group in the lower grades
as long as the better ball provided for the upper grades and
would perform an identical service.
In appraising the needs, the committee should classify
the items as essential, important, desirable, or undesirable.
After a little practice and study, the committee will be able
to separate the needs and set them down in the order of
their importance. Often the money spent for desirable sup-
plies precludes spending for essentials with consequent
losses in instructional and custodial efficiency. It is wise
to remember that any commodity may be considered an ex-
travagance if its quality is so low that it cannot fulfill its
function or is of a quality higher than that necessary for its
Having evaluated the needs in the light of cost in refer-
ence to need and utility, the committee should allocate to
the supply field ample revenue to secure the items re-
quested. All the other fields of the budget should, of course,
be evaluated and treated with the same consideration.
In the event the revenue allotted to the several fields
must be cut, the committee must in all fairness re-evaluate
the needs of the several fields and cut so that it will not
place undue strain on or curtail the efficiency of any of the
school services. For example, if after preparing the budget
a cut of $1,000 is necessary in order to stay within the avail-
able revenue, all should not be cut from one item just to
maintain a balanced budget. The committee should care-
Determination of Ability to Purchase 17
fully weigh the needs of the various fields and then pains-
takingly and intelligently lower the allocations until the
budget is balanced.
Use of County Current School Funds for Equalization
Oftentimes some districts within a county do not receive
enough revenue to secure essential needs; whereas other
districts have ample revenue to obtain all essential, impor-
tant, and desirable items. A plan which would comprehend
the use of all of the district revenue available and use of
the county current revenue as an equalizing fund has some
merit. Under this plan the poorer districts will benefit.
The richer districts will probably be able to carry their
own loads. In all probability the use of the district revenue
before supplementing the County Current Funds is the most
democratic procedure. Eventually this method will tend
to place all districts on an equal basis. There is no justifi-
cation for a condition within a county in which the children
of a poorer district are handicapped through curtailment of
supplies, while the children of an adjoining district have
enough and more than enough to meet every real or fancied
How to Equalize
What is a fair basis for the appropriation? The only
fair basis, which is at the same time practicable, upon which
to apportion the funds available for supplies from all
sources is on the basis of pupils in average daily attendance
by grade or department level. There is such a wide varia-
tion in the kind, quality, quantity and cost of supplies, used
on the different grade levels it is necessary to comprehend
the difference in the final unit. With no accounting by
schools or districts the result is that the most persistent, or
most aggressive principal may receive more than his share,
more than the one who quietly accepts what he gets, relying
on the fairness and judgment of the County Superin-
UNIT COST PER PUPIL
After determining to make the apportionment on a per
pupil basis, the County Superintendent will need to estab-
lish a unit cost per pupil by grade level in average daily
18 School Supply Management in Florida
attendance for the county. The supplementary apportion-
ment to the districts from the County Current Fund would
be on this basis.
Since no pupil unit cost has been established for the
purchase of school supplies, it will be possible only to men-
tion a procedure which may be followed in determining
such a unit.
A pupil unit cost might be determined for each grade
level by taking the total cost of all supplies from the school
inventories and the supply items requested for that grade
level, and dividing by the average daily attendance of the
county for that grade level. For example, if the cost of the
needs for the primary grades for the county is $450.00 and
there is an average daily attendance of 900 pupils, the pupil
unit cost for the primary grades of the county would be 50c.
In the same way the pupil unit cost for each grade level of
the county could be determined.
By using this unit cost per pupil, and through multiply-
ing by the number of pupils in average daily attendance,
the County Superintendent can determine the amount of
revenue that should be made available for each school. He
may ascertain the supplement needed from the County Cur-
rent Fund by subtracting the allotment in the district
budget from the amount determined as necessary to assure
the needs. By using the County Current Fund as an equaliz-
ing fund, he may lend assistance where needed most and
should be able to promote the principle of educational op-
portunities throughout the county. That is, the schools in
the poorer districts are assured of the essential supplies.
Let us assume that school "A" with a hundred pupils in
average daily attendance in the primary level was able to
apportion only $30.00 for supplies from the district fund.
Applying the unit cost for the county, 50c times 100 pupils,
they should have had $50.00. Subtracting the $30.00 from
the $50.00, the County Superintendent would allot school
"A" $20.00 from the County Current Fund, and thus assure
school "A" the essential supplies.
If after the pupil unit cost for the various grade levels
has been determined for the county, it is found that suffi-
cient revenue is not available; then the unit cost could be
reduced by a certain per cent necessary to balance the
Determination of Ability to Purchase
budget. Adjustments, of the per pupil unit cost, would
probably have to be made for the first year because of un-
equal inventories and for a few succeeding years until more
definite information on which to base the unit can be col-
There are some supplies such as floor oil, brooms and
sweeping compound which are hard to allocate on a
per pupil basis. The County Superintendent could ap-
portion such supplies on the basis of area to be serviced.
The committee should make a final check of the appor-
tionments to the various fields to determine the following:
1. Is the budget in balance.
2. Is the amount apportioned to the various
3. Has provision been made for essential
After the budget has been made and the amount for
supplies apportioned, each school should make its requisi-
tion. Because of the fact that unexpected needs are likely
to arise during the term, it would be wise to reserve part of
the allotment for supplies to take care of such emergencies.
If no reserve is on hand to supply these needs, the efficiency
of the school will be handicapped.
It may often be found that the allotment in the budget
is not enough to purchase all of the needed supplies, in
which case, it will be necessary to make some reductions.
Since the needs were originally determined by the teachers
and custodians working with the principal, they are the ones
who should make the revision. If the County Superintendent
alone were to try to make this revision, he would prob-
ably make it without definite knowledge of the needs for
the articles among which he must exercise judgment in
reducing quantities. Under these circumstances, some
very important article might be cut or eliminated entirely
and thus reduce the efficiency of the school. In order to
prevent this, the needs should be re-evaluated in the light
of the available funds. The principal should prepare his
requisition so that the total of the requisition and the re-
serve does not exceed the funds apportioned. Here again
it is important that those who considered the items for the
original requisition must be consulted for a re-evaluation
There are possibilities for participation by all who have
educational responsibilities in the development of specifica-
tions for instructional materials, even though such participa-
tion may be only to a limited degree. At first it might
appear that it is impractical for the county unit to formulate
valid specifications since considerable research and experi-
mentation are required. One of the purposes of this hand-
book is to acquaint those interested in schools with the
procedures which are being used in the formulation of
specifications of standard supplies.
In the following discussion an attempt will be made to
show that by using valid specifications the schools will get
the desired quality for any particular item purchased.
Specifications are formulated, definite and complete
statements of what the buyer requires of the seller.
The first step in the formulation of a specification is to
determine the purpose or the particular use of the article.
The intended use or purpose of the item in a large measure
predetermines the type, quality, style, quantity, and such
other factors as may be desired. The selection should be
made according to the standard of work for which the
material is intended.
Formulation of Specifications
Manufacturers of brands have a definite specification for
the item or product they fabricate or process. It follows
then that seldom do two brands have identical specifica-
tions, even though they are what is known as similar or
"equal" products. Since there is a difference between the
two brands, in many instances they will not serve a common
utility equally well. It is, therefore, desirable to formulate
specifications that fully meet the needs so that the items
may be purchased that conform to the needs. Whether the
specification is formulated by the school purchasing agency
or by another source, it is necessary for the purchaser
to have a complete understanding of specifications a
knowledge of the means of formulating specifications is
of course desirable.
In formulating specifications there are certain rules that
should be observed:
1. Specifications should be written in clear and unmistak-
2. They should inform the seller exactly what the buyer
wants and what he expects to be delivered.
3. They must be broad enough to permit as wide compe-
tition as possible, and should provide for reasonable
4. Wordy and highly technical specifications should be
avoided when possible, as they discourage worthy com-
petition or provide loopholes for quotations on inferior
5. The emphasis in specifications should, whenever possible
be upon performance rather than chemical composition
or method of manufacturing.
6. Specifications may also describe the method of sampling
and testing which will be followed, instructions for in-
spection, marking and packing.
7. They should tell the receiver of the material or the in-
spector or tester, what has been purchased, so it can be
determined if delivery or service conforms to the pur-
Any specifications for a product should clarify what
might be termed the physical elements of the specification.
For example, suppose that a purchase of chalk is contem-
plated. Instead of listing "crayon blackboard, white, very
soft, gross in box," clarify the order thus: "100 boxes white
dustless blackboard chalk crayon-round sticks. Must con-
tain only the highest grade pure English precipitated whit-
ing, free from grit, or any hard particles, grease, clay, or
other ingredient harmful to the blackboard. A suitable
binder shall hold the whiting into a perfectly formed stick
31/4" long with a diameter of /8". Packed 1 gross sticks in
a box." This specification will eliminate confusion, need-
less cost of sampling several kinds of product from each
manufacturer, and insure that the product received will
be the one desired.
22 School Supply Management in Florida
Another example is liquid toilet soap. "It shall be a clear
solution of pure vegetable oil (potash, or potash and soda)
soap with or without glycerol of alcohol, suitably per-
fumed and free from all foreign matter. It shall quickly
form a satisfactory lather and have no injurious effect and
leave no objectionable odor on the skin. The material shall
be a clear solution, free from objectionable odor, other than
from cocoanut oil, and shall form a satisfactory lather.
Total anhydrous (without water) soap shall be not less than
the equivalent of 15 per cent potash soap. Total matter
insoluble in alcohol shall not exceed 9.5%. More than
traces of sulphates and sugar shall not be present. Chloride
calculated as potassium chloride (KCL) shall not exceed
9.3%. All constituents shall be present. All constituents
shall be calculated on the basis of the original sample."*
Specifications and Trade Names
The relative merits of purchasing by means of brand or
by means of specifications may be briefly stated as follows:
The use of brand names as a means of specification is
relatively simple and easily practiced. On the other hand,
the use of brand names must be accompanied by the "or
equal" provision or the other brands and firms are pre-
vented from bidding. Restrictive specification often operates
not only to the disadvantage of a large body of manufac-
turers but also to the purchaser because of losses through
failure to secure competitive bids. When the "or equal"
provision is used, then the question arises as to how those
responsible for purchasing the supplies are going to be able
to determine whether the substituted brand is the equal
of the one specified. In order to determine whether or not
the substituted brand is equal, it is virtually necessary for
a specification to be established which will provide a series
of criteria by means of which an intelligent judgment can
In those situations in which it is impracticable to make
any attempt at specification formulation, it is possible to
secure valid specifications from other sources. Many of the
specifications that the average school system needs may be
*Specifications for Selected Major Items of School Supplies, a Thesis by John
Allen Jimerson, 1940. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.
obtained by reference to agencies which have been at work
upon the problem. Specifications may be secured from the
1. Superintendent of Documents, Specifica-
tion Division, Washington, D. C.
2. Large city school systems.
In purchasing school supplies, if the specifications are
used, the buyer may be certain as to the quality of the
product obtained. Whereas, the quality and description of
"brands" may vary from time to time, the use of specifica-
tions sets a definite minimum below which the manufacturer
cannot drop. It is also possible by the use of specifications
to develop new areas of supplies as many unknown and un-
advertised "brands" are of the quality for which the speci-
Information to Vendor
Many errors in purchase arise from the fact that the
vendors do not know exactly what the purchaser wants.
Often it would be possible for a manufacturer to satisfy the
needs of schools if he were given definite information on
the qualities desired. It is then possible for the manufac-
turer to alter his specifications in order to conform to the
needs of the school. This is especially beneficial in cases
where a lesser quality will satisfy the need. Definite in-
formative specifications enable vendors to decide whether
or not they are in a position to participate in bidding and as
a consequence encourage intelligent and legitimate com-
The Use of Specifications to Put Competition on Equal Basis
When materials have been purchased on the basis of
specifications the manufacturer should be required to cer-
tify that the items conform to the specifications. It is not
always possible for the purchaser to determine if the items
meet specifications without recourse to high priced testing
equipment but more simple tests may be performed in the
school laboratories. These will be discussed in a later chap-
ter devoted to testing.
Most manufacturers are bonded and there is little dan-
ger that they will not conform to specifications to which
24 School Supply Management in Florida
both vendor and vendee have agreed. However, the buyer
is cautioned here against the chiseling firm who charges
high prices for inferior material. The reliable firms are in
the majority, but there are many instances in which school
systems have purchased inferior merchandise from those
who have no reputation to uphold. In case the company
refuses to conform to its contract or to agree mutually the
school will seek settlement as a last resort through the
courts. There will be few instances, however, in which the
reliable firm does not satisfactorily fulfill its contract.
Specifications as Means to Economy
One of the benefits that leads to savings in purchasing
is the standardization of materials that are to be bought.
This standardization tends to eliminate many types of ma-
terials for which there is adequate substitution. This in
turn permits the purchaser to buy in larger units. For ex-
ample, each of the several schools in the county may requi-
sition a different brand of liquid soap. Since the function
to be performed by the soap in all schools is identical it is
possible to place the entire order for the soap needed with
one company; thereby, securing a savings with a quantity
While savings are made with quantity orders, savings
may also be made in purchases based on specification. With-
out specifications there is a wide divergence in quality. In
price there is an equal divergence. This can be eliminated
by manufacturers making bids on specifications instead of
trade name quality. For example, in competitive bidding
for liquid soap for what was supposed to be the same qual-
ity there has been a price divergence from $.68 to $1.80 a
gallon (Jimerson). The same firm has been known to
vary on successive quotations as much as 100% to 200%
(Jimerson) presumably on the same item.
There could be no better time than the present to con-
sider the effect of abnormal times upon purchase of school
supplies. The emergency condition created by the war will
complicate school supply problems not only in Florida but
also all over the nation. Many supplies and items of equip-
ment which have heretofore been available may no longer
be obtained. For some of these, acceptable substitutes may
be secured. Others will simply represent acute shortage.
It should be observed that before standards and specifica-
tions are modified to admit any inferior type of material
the producers should be required to show proof of inability
to furnish the article or materials specified. There are
items of school consumption however which demand
changes in standards and specifications.
The question of paper standards is assuming increasing
importance. In all probability paper weights in standard
ream counts will be reduced. Paper colors now considered
standard will be increasingly difficult to secure because
of use of chlorine in the war effort. Chlorine is the only ac-
ceptable paper bleaching agent.
There is no real shortage of cotton textiles but orders
from civilian users will often be delayed because of prior-
ities and shortage of machine tools for processing.
It will be virtually impossible to secure many items of
school equipment which contain metals essential to conduct
of the war. At this writing production of these materials
has ceased or processing for civilian use has been drasti-
cally curtailed. In this classification, typewriters and the
several types of accounting machines may be listed. More
careful attention must be given to repair and maintenance
of these articles of office and instructional equipment. It
is doubtful that replacements can be made. The same
general principle will hold true of course for all other types
of equipment used in the system. No matter how carefully
materials are conserved, purchases must be made from time
to time to avoid educational handicaps. With this thought
in view it will become increasingly important to devote
thought and attention to intelligent procedures for purchase.
26 School Supply Management in Florida
When requisitions have been completed and filed with
the county school authorities they should be carefully ex-
amined by the business department in the light of the fol-
1. Have all schools presented their requisi-
2. Has each school accounted for all essential
3. Have the requisitions been compared with
4. Have requisitions been checked for errors?
5. Have all requisitions stated clearly the
time for delivery?
6. Have any unusual items been requisi-
The requisitions should then be submitted to the County
Superintendent for review and, if in his opinion necessary,
for emendation. It should probably be unnecessary for
routine requisitions to clear through the County Board.
However, for unusually large requisitions or requisitions in-
volving a change from established policy best practice
would involve approval also by the County Board. If ap-
proved, the requisitions should be tabulated on a compila-
tion sheet to determine the quantity of the various items to
be bought. If this is done it enables the county to make
quantity purchases, as the total for the county of any item
to be bought is apparent. This does not mean that the en-
tire order must be shipped to the same place. The entire
order is placed as a unit, but items involved may be desig-
nated for shipment to the various schools. Lower prices
are usually secured by this method.
A convenient method of compilation is to use a columnar
pad with the schools listed vertically and the materials hori-
zontally (a sample compilation sheet is included in Chap-
ter IX, page 47. When this is done it is possible to
determine the total quantity of each item that will be
needed in all the schools of the county. It is suggested that
the date each school wishes delivery of its supplies be noted
on this compilation sheet.
BIDS AND BID PROCEDURE
Solicitation of bids in school purchases is not only de-
sirable in point of economy but is also mandatory under
Florida statutes in sums involving $300.00 or more. Since
this is true, it is important to have a thorough understand-
ing of bids and bid procedure. Any irregularity in this
method of purchase may well prove to be costly. Not only
is this true in the price area, but it is also true that valuable
time may be lost and the use of the supplies delayed
through error or misunderstanding. Bids may be defined
as proposals by the vendor to furnish supplies, materials, or
services under certain specific conditions at a specified price
in response to invitations submitted by the purchaser and as
such must be based upon an exact knowledge of what is
Although bidding will possibly not be required in all
purchases, bids should be solicited whenever practicable
even though not required by statute. It is wise to use bids
even in instances in which smaller sums are involved; com-
petition usually results in lower prices even for small pur-
chases. The type of bid used will vary with the amount and
type of item to be purchased. If formal bids are not solic-
ited, the business manager can achieve virtually the same
end by securing quotations from a representative number
of vendors. Bid forms will be presented and discussed
formally under the chapter on accounting.
It is desirable that all persons or firms who might par-
ticipate in bidding should be informed as to the intent of
the school board to make purchases. Bid proposals should
not be limited to preferred bidders of the locality, county,
or state, as this many times limits competition and thereby
creates a condition approximating monopoly. Failure to
secure representative bids may well be both unfair and
costly to the school system and to the producers.
There are several ways by which vendors may be in-
formed as to the items to be purchased. The most formal
of these is advertisement. This may be done by inserting
notice in the "press," by letter, or by notices posted in public
places. One of the most common methods of securing bids
28 School Supply Management in Florida
is the oral solicitation, by conversation in personal contact,
or by telephone. The oral bid, often enables the purchaser
to accomplish the desired results with a minimum waste
of time and money.
The major objection to formally advertised bids, par-
ticularly when a small amount of money is involved, is that
needless money is expended for payment for advertising
and much time is lost in the interim. There are times, how-
ever, when it is a good practice, even though the money ex-
pended is small, for the purchaser to have the protection
of the advertised bid.
The solicitation for advertisement should be condensed
in order to reduce advertising expense since the specific con-
ditions and regulations governing the bid may be prescribed
and included in other documents made part of the contract.
Instructions to Bidders
In order to avoid misunderstandings on the part of
vendors who are asked to participate in the bidding, it is
necessary to give instructions which are complete and ex-
plicit. Among the more common items which should be
included in these instructions are the following:
a. The time and place for and manner of fil-
b. The forms upon which bids are to be sub-
c. Degree of conformity required for specifi-
cations, directions, and instructions;
d. The bid bond, required, if any;
e. Requirements in regard to containers,
packing, installations, drayage, and
f. Legal and regulatory restrictions, state or
g. Requirements relating to inspection and
h. Reservations and annulments.
The Bid Form
The items with their specifications and descriptions are
listed on this form together with the cost and quantity. A
form will be found in Chapter IX, page 49.
Provision for Preliminary Bond
Where there is a significant amount of money involved
in a bid, it is a good practice to require all bidders to post a
preliminary bond. This is a surety that the bidder who has
been awarded a contract will enter into an agreement as
provided by his accepted bid. With business conditions
changing from time to time because of emergency activities
it is important to the purchaser to assure fulfillment of bid.
Sometimes because of orders from preferred customers, in-
creased production costs or scarcity of materials, a vendor
would be tempted to refuse to enter contract unless a bid
bond had been required.
Tabulation and Evaluation of Bids
The bids should be opened and tabulated publicly on
the day prescribed in the solicitation. All bids should be
compared to see if they conform with the specifications.
Any bid that is not in accordance with the instructions to
bidders and specifications should be rejected. It is the duty
of the board to award the bid to the bidder who has sub-
mitted the best bid. The board in awarding a contract
should be certain that no favoritism is shown. Often, a con-
tract is awarded to a local merchant who does not deserve
the award on the merit of the bid. When this is done, all
benefits of the bid procedure are cancelled and results in
financial loss to the school. There is also the aspect of fair-
ness. Any vendor, no matter what his address, has a right
to participate in selling to the schools provided the quality
of his product is acceptable and his prices lower than those
of his competitors. When there is an equality of bids
ethical procedure demands that the lowest bid be accepted.
The board should consider the bidder's references, financial
responsibility, as well as the ability to perform or produce
supplies. All bids should be tabulated on one form to facili-
tate analysis and comparison. This tabulation must be re-
corded in the board's minutes of the meeting.
30 School Supply Management in Florida
Contracts, either informal or formal, are entered into
between Boards of Education and bidders on supplies, ma-
terials, labor, or for purchases of other nature.
An informal contract may be represented by a letter
addressed to the bidder accepting his proposal, signed by
the secretary or other authorized official of the school sys-
tem, stating his bid for has been accepted at
a regularly called meeting of the board held at -
Every formal contract must be authorized by the county
school board at a regular or legal meeting and should be
signed by the vendor and witnessed but also should be
signed by the Chairman of the Board and attested by the
No contract can be entered into unless a bid is accepted
or an agreement made with the other party by a school
board in a legally called session. There are some contracts
that require a unanimous vote of all members of the board;
of course no bid is accepted which is not voted favorably
upon by a majority of the board. (See Chapter IX for
Failing to enter into agreement and furnish perform-
ance bond forfeits this bid bond and indemnifies the buyer
for loss of time.
Purchase by Contract
The actual instruments by which purchases are con-
sumated vary with the article and quantity of item to be
bought. In some cases it is desirable to issue contracts for
delivering goods periodically. This is true especially when
the supply needed is large and constant. After the contract
is issued it is then possible to issue purchase orders for the
items included in the contract, if and when needed.
When the exact need has been determined, it is advis-
able when funds are available and storage permits to pur-
chase for immediate delivery the entire amount for which
the bids were issued.
After the contracts have been properly signed, the ac-
tual purchase of the items should be systematic and in good
business form so as to facilitate bookkeeping, accounting
and inventory information. In order to do this a definite
type of purchase order should be formulated so as to facili-
tate buying. The purchase order should cover items that
have been covered by contracts from the accepted bidder
and should not be issued until the purchaser is fully pro-
tected with a valid contract entered into with the vendor or
bidder. A sample purchase order is included in Chapter
IX, page 58.
The buyer should use the utmost care in making the
items listed in the purchase order conform with his specifi-
cations of the accepted bid. It is a good practice to re-
write the specifications on the purchase order, however, if
this is not done the purchase order should contain a state-
ment to the effect that the "materials and services furnished
herewith shall be in accordance with specifications and con-
ditions as per contract number ."*
It is usually necessary to prepare purchase orders in
duplicate or triplicate sets according to need of the book-
keeping system. It is convenient to have these copies of
different color so as to facilitate the handling.
All schools have some system of storing, distributing,
checking and testing materials. This may be a well organ-
ized system or it may be carried on in a haphazard manner
with no accurate method of performing these functions.
The school supply service of a school system should not
be judged in terms of amount of money spent, or area and
convenience of storeroom, but rather in terms of efficiency.
That system may be considered efficient^which provides
necessary supplies for its schools at the times needed at a
minimum cost. One school system may have an elaborate
program with a large staff of workers without meeting the
needs of the school, while another system employing a min-
imum personnel may be doing an excellent job.
The room, rooms, or building centrally located in the
county and district which house large quantities of supplies
and from which many schools order supplies is spoken of as
the central storehouse. Frequently, the school system feels
that the quantity of supplies necessary for the efficient
operation of the system warrants renting or buying storage
When a central warehouse is established there are many
factors that should be kept in mind. Transportation is ex-
pensive if the truck routes and deliveries are not carefully
planned. In most counties the warehouse would probably
best be located in the county seat. In certain other counties,
however, it would seem better to determine the center of
school population and to establish the central storehouse
near that point. The warehouse should not be located in a
place that is inaccessible to freight or truck transportation.
If central storage is used in a county there should be
some provision made to get the supplies to the schools. The
principals of the schools should not be expected to provide
the transportation for supplies from the warehouse to their
The use of the central storage house for the larger
school systems more often than not promotes efficiency. It
is not economy, however, to pay for storage space where
the charges amount to more than the savings realized.
However, this is a problem each county and district must
solve individually; practice within each county must be
guided by the situation as it exists. In the majority of cases
a school system will have to use the place and space it has
More and more school systems are using a central store-
house. The plan usually includes the following procedures:
(1) that all supplies used by a majority of pupils, teachers
and custodians, be stored in the central storehouse; (2) that
most purchases be delivered to this location; (3) that de-
liveries to schools be made on a periodic basis; (4) that
these orders are prepared from the requisitions of the
teacher and principal and chargeable to the respective
room or school.
Advantages of Central Storage
There are many advantages of central storage. Educa-
tional leaders are increasingly aware of the savings which
may be made possible through a central storage system.
(1) School needs can be more easily estimated through the
agency of central storage. Stock on hand at any one time
may be compared to stock on hand at the same date for sev-
eral preceding years. (2) Through central storage there can
be a more systematic control of supplies. The quantity sent
to any one school is easily determined. A continuous record
acts as a control warning. Useage may be increasing or
decreasing and the records will show up this trend con-
spicuously. For illustration, the art supervisor of district
"A" directs the elementary usage away from water color
and to the use of tempera. Almost immediately the pur-
chasing agent is aware of the amount consumed and the
change in instructional method. He guides his purchasing ac-
cordingly. (3) There will be uniform supplies for uniform in-
struction. It is normal that the desires and demands would
run rampant if allowed to follow inclinations of many indi-
viduals. It will be possible for the purchasing agent to bring
about simplification and standardization of articles on the
supply lists. (4) In a central storehouse the stock can be kept
at a minimum amount. Requisitions may be readily filled
34 School Supply Management in Florida
and they will enable the purchasing agent to anticipate his
needs; there will not be the tendency to overstock. As a
result, the small stock means fewer goods left over to be-
come faded and musty. It is the efficient purchasing agent
who finds his shelves almost empty at the close of the school
year. (5) The central storehouse makes it easier to check
the quality of the article delivered as compared to the qual-
ity of the article the vendor proposed to furnish. Some
easily performed tests are listed later in this handbook.
(6) Savings may be readily effected through quantity pur-
chase of one item not possible when a multiple choice causes
purchase of many varieties of the same article or utility.
(7) Many storehouses include a maintenance department.
Material can be salvaged through a renovation program
and when fit for use can go back on the shelves to be cata-
logued. If the handles of rakes, brooms, or floor mops are
broken, the maintenance department can easily and quickly
make the item fit for use. (8) Many storehouses make up
simple formulae for supplies. In Bulletin 13, School Plant
Operation and Maintenance, from page 62 through page 67
will be found simple formulae for a few custodial supplies
such as scrubbing compound, cleaner for painted walls,
cleaner for stone, cleaner for removing mold from walls.
(9) The central storage plant discourages hoarding. The
school that has a tendency to hoard shows up conspicuously
in the records.
Accessibility is a necessity to an efficiently operated
storage room. The type or types of equipment in use often
contribute to orderliness. Shelves are needed for one type
of supply, bins for another, rollers for others and racks for
still others. For equipment there must be work tables,
hand-trucks, platform scales, wrapping paper, twine, and
labels. Other factors also contribute to efficiency. The
room should be well lighted and spacious. The doors should
be so constructed as to be easily and securely locked, with
not too many keys in circulation. The leading facilities
should be so arranged that they are under shelter and if
possible within the building so that the trucks may be
loaded the night before to be ready for the morning deliv-
ery. The building should be fireproof. There should be a
number of cupboards with snugly fitting doors. These are
necessary for safekeeping of paper which fades when ex-
posed to the light. The whole area should of course, be main-
tained and kept in a state of repair; precautions should also
be taken against inroads of vermin and insects.
Generally speaking, the best practice is to store supplies
according to use. It will be found better to keep articles
used in the same instructional areas together; art supplies,
science supplies, commercial supplies, custodial supplies (as
brooms, cleaning supplies, panes of glass, etc.). The supply
manager needs to unpack and shelve only a working supply
of some items. This means his supplies will stay fresh,
will be easier to count and it will be easier to take inventory.
He should face all boxes and containers toward the aisles.
The aisles should be wide enough to permit the hand-
truck to move easily. Inside ramps or elevators are neces-
sary where supplies must be on a second floor level. Some
research workers have estimated that the storage space for
2,000 pupils should be 1,000 square feet.
As has already been mentioned, care should be taken to
have the supplies reach central storage early enough to
permit a thorough check before delivery to the schools.
It is important that the time be sufficient to permit an inves-
tigation of each of the following questions:
1. Does the invoice check with the quantity
2. Does the invoice check with the quantity
3. Do the materials check with the quality
4. Have any items been back-ordered?
5. Are any of the supplies in a broken or
In case some of the articles are broken or damaged the
supply manager will be able to ascertain the amount of
damage and, by communicating with the vendor, ask for
whatever adjustment the particular instance merits. These
checks will also enable the supply manager to determine
36 School Supply Management in Florida
the extent to which he should test the materials. For ex-
ample, should the quality of the materials appear to be
below specifications, they may be checked before accepting
them. It is much easier to make adjustments before the
materials have been distributed to the various schools and
used than to seek such adjustments afterward. Several
simple tests will be offered later on in this handbook.
STORAGE IN THE SCHOOL BUILDINGS
The change in instructional methods from textbook
teaching to activity programs in the last few years has
brought about increased usage of supplies with consequent
need for storage space within the school. Every school
should have some place, clean, dry, well lighted, and prop-
erly equipped to store its supplies, but generally speaking
each school must use the space it has available. Too often
the space is inadequate.
The location of storage space is important. If possible,
it is best to have the room centrally located and near to if
not adjacent to the office. However, in the case of jani-
torial supplies, such as varnishes and chemicals, the storage
space should not be in the center of the building or under
the stairs. It should be located in a position as free from
fire hazards as possible.
Factors influencing the method of delivery of supplies
are: 1. The type of supply. 2. The size of the storage
space at the school building. 3. The kind of central stor-
Fuel and science supplies are generally delivered di-
rectly to the school building.
Where there is a central storage plant, deliveries are at
the discretion of the supply manager. He takes into consid-
eration the possibility that if a school has a large quantity
of supplies on hand there may be tendencies toward extrav-
agance in use. He may deem it advisable to deliver only the
amount necessary for use by the school between his periodic
deliveries. It may be well to point out in this connection
that the cost of deliveries can quickly mount into a con-
The number of deliveries per month will largely de-
pend upon the size of storage capacity in each of the school
buildings serviced and upon the facilities and cost for trans-
When a central storehouse sends out periodic orders,
the supply manager may divide his territory into routes.
Each route may include schools of one general direction.
Each principal would receive a card indicating the specific
dates of the month that the supplies will be delivered to
his school. This method would enable the principal to an-
ticipate delivery by sending his order list in before the dates
of delivery. The dates should be staggered to give the ship-
ping clerk time for checking and packing the orders. The
best plan is to load the truck late in the afternoon. It will
then be ready to start early the next morning and to arrive
at the schoolhouse during the day while school is in session.
In any event deliveries should be so planned that someone
will be present at the school to receive the supplies.
TEST FOR QUALITY
Many school men who are called upon to select supplies
find themselves handicapped because they know of no
quick and practicable way to determine the quality of ma-
terials and workmanship. This problem is one which needs
to be faced squarely. Simple testing procedures which may
be conducted with facilities available to school administra-
tors need to be developed and publicized.
A committee on supply management of the Southern
States Work-Conference on School Administrative Problems
in a recent publication, School Supply Management, made
the following statement in regard to tests:
"An important corollary of specification prepara-
tion is provision for tests to determine how nearly man-
ufacturers have met required standards. Tests which
are feasible in the typical school system should be eval-
uated somewhat as follows:
(1) Does the test consistently measure the qual-
ity or qualities that are significant to the school
program? (2) Is the test simple in formula and eco-
nomical in operation? (3) Is the test fair to manu-
facturers and producers in general or is it weighted
in favor of a particular manufacturer's product or
methods? School business management should evolve
standards and specifications in consultation and coop-
eration with the instructional staff; make use of proved
specifications for those articles whose utility standards
are common to all consumers; and develop testing pro-
cedures which are accurate, simple, economical, and
Here is a wide field where little research has been done
and from which great benefits to the school supply program
may be realized.
A few simple and practical tests which may be used in
the school by the unskilled person are listed below as
suggestive of the possibilities for local testing.
Test for Quality
Test for whiteness by comparing one sample with another, judging
by sight. The photometer may be used and comparison made with
something used as a standard, for example, a block of magnesia.
Samples containing a high percentage of chalk will make a whiter line
than those containing clay or other filler.
Write with various samples and estimate the difference in the
amount of pressure required to make a legible mark.
Make marks with various samples on a clean board. Using a clean
eraser for each mark, note the relative effort required to erase each
mark and the relative cleanness of the board after each erasing.
Test for hardness by noting the amount of the crayon remaining
after a specified number of strokes.
Test for strength by determining the relative amount of weight
each sample will support when one end is fastened in such a manner
as to place the crayon in a horizontal position.
Examine end of bristles selected at random with a low power
microscope. The number of divisions or "branches" gives some indi-
cation of the quality of the bristle, since the finely divided ends are
essential in brushing pulverized dirt from the floor.
(a) Inks from all bidders are brushed on paper and allowed to
stand from 12 to 20 hours to note the presence of oil.
(b) Successive strips of ink are brushed on a fresh mimeographed
pad and then 100 sheets are run through. A comparison is
made of the ink on the 100th copy.
(c) A slide is made of the inks and a study of the pigments to
determine firmness of grinding made by use of a microscope.
Federal Specifications Nos. TT-I-563 and TT-I-52, Superintendent
of Documents, Washington, D. C. Price 5c.
Test for plainness of copy. Place five to eight pieces of typing
paper together. Upon the last, carbon side down, fasten vertical strips
of carbon paper samples to be tested. Place the sheets of typing paper
in a typewriter and write sentences across the page. Examine the car-
bon copy for distinctness of writing.
(1) Make a number of carbon copies using different
samples of competitive carbon sheets. Compare copies
for distinctness of copy.
(2) Check carbon paper for "smear" by stroking with the
*Adopted from Specifications for Selected Major Items of School Supplies. John
Allen Jimerson. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Nebraska, 1940.
40 School Supply Management in Florida
(1) Stencils are cut on the same machine, using the same
material. These stencils are run through the mimeo-
graph and the 50th copy of each stencil compared.
(2) A copy is made by a stylus on each sample to deter-
mine the ease of making such copies. The 50th copy
of each stencil is compared.
(3) Stencils are cleaned and allowed to stand over night,
exposed to the air, and then run again and the 10th
copy of each stencil compared.
(1) Mold test.-About 10 grams of the paste to be tested
are placed in an open receptacle, inoculated with the
yellowish brown mold, and the whole placed in a desic-
cator with a little water in the bottom. The test speci-
men is kept in a dark closet or exposed only to diffused
light, at 79 to 86 degrees F., for 10 days. At the ex-
piration of this period the paste should show no evi-
dence of any type of mold growth.
(2) Adhesive test.-Evenly distribute a film of paste near
the middle of a strip of kraft and bond paper, fold each
strip upon itself, rub three times with the hand and
allow one group of samples to dry for one-half hour,
the other two hours. At the end of the drying period,
pull apart the free ends of the strips with the same
motion as in opening the pages of a book. The break
should come in the paper and not in the adhesive.
(3) Corrosion test.-The brushes and tops of sample con-
tainers and tubes are wrapped in a towel which has
been thoroughly moistened with saturated salt solution
and allowed to remain at room temperature for 24
hours. At the expiration of this period, the test pieces
are examined. The metal, if aluminum, should show
no more evidence of corrosion than a slight whitish,
not rusty film or deposit. Other metals, if used, should
show no rust, and there should be no evidence of the
failure of the lacquer on them.
Pencils; Red and Bluet
(1) Writing lines with each pencil to check color.
(2) Pounding the point on paper to check breaking or flak-
(3) Sharpening the pencils to the maximum length of point,
and then wearing the point down by 150 lines on a
page, then measuring the length of lead worn off.
tTests of Quality for School Equipment and Supplies. S. N. Reeves. Ph.D.
Thesis. George Peabody College, 1934.
Test for Quality
(1) Fold and crease the stencil. A permanent line after
the stencil is unfolded indicates a poor quality of
(2) Mark on the stencil with a stylus. The mark should be
clear and clean. Obscure or "fuzzy" lines indicate
lack of quality.
(3) Clean the type of the machine carefully. Write on the
stencil sentences which use a large percentage of
"closed" letters, such as "o," "e," "a," etc. Examine
the stencil to determine the percentage of letters which
have cut through and fallen out. Examine the type
of the machine for amount of wax or other material
deposited on it.
(4) The stencil is wrinkled and is then placed on the ma-
chine to determine whether the ink passes through the
folds or wrinkles.
(1) Weight test.-The weight is determined by a scale that
will weigh sheet size 4 by 4 inches.
(2) Color.-The test for color is a matter of comparison
between bleached, unbleached and manila colored
(3) Absorbency test.-The test for absorbency is made
with equipment consisting of a watch, a hollow vessel,
such as a cup or small bowl on which the sheet is placed
so as to have an air space both above and below the
sheet being tested-a pipette graduated to measure
one-tenth of a cubic centimeter of water. The one-tenth
of a cubic centimeter of water is released on the sheet
and the absorbency determined from the second the
water touches the sheet until the entire one-tenth of a
cubic centimeter of water is entirely absorbed.
(1) Absorbency.-Place one thickness of towel on a four
mesh screen. Fill a 1 cc. measuring pipette with water
(250 C.), hold it an at angle of about 300 with the
horizontal paper tip being very near the surface of the
paper and allow 0.1 cc. of water to flow on the towel.
While the water is flowing on the towel, let the tip of
the pipette remain in the drop as it forms on the sur-
face of the towel. The absorbency is the time in
*Bpecifications for Selected Major Items of School Supplies. John Allen Jimer-
son. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Nebraska, 1940.
42 School Supply Management in Florida
seconds from the contact of the water with the towel
until the drop is completely absorbed as indicated by no
further reflections of light from it.
(2) Strength test.-The strength is determined with a
Mullen paper tester.
(3) Weight.-A paper scale is used for making this test.
The scale should weigh one sheet on the basis of a
(4) Thickness test.-The thickness is measured with a mi-
Varnish and Floor Finishers*
(1) Varnish successive steps on a stairway with competitive
samples. The degree of permanency of the finish is an
excellent means of testing the relative quality of the
(2) Place different brands of the same type of floor finishes
on floors of different rooms or parts of the same room
to test for durability of finish.
Possibilities for the improvement of testing procedures
lie in the wider use of existing agencies for testing and the
creation of additional agencies for collective testing. Such
established agencies as the American Society for Testing
Materials, the National Bureau of Standards, and the large
commercial testing laboratories offer occasional possibilities
for testing by large units but for the most part testing by
these agencies is impracticable for any systems except the
largest. Possibilities for testing do inhere, however, in the
utilization of college laboratories, the organization of school
units for group testing and through cooperative testing on a
state or regional scale.
*Speciflcations for Selected Major Items of School Supplies. John Allen Jimer-
son. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Nebraska, 1940.
ACCOUNTS AND FORMS
The accounting system must be organized to function
efficiently and economically. A permanent and continuing
system of accounting which will show readily at any time
the quantity of supplies on hand, the quantity distributed,
and where the supplies are used is essential to efficient sup-
ply management. A complete record of every transaction
should be available in order that accurate knowledge re-
garding appropriations, expenditures and bills outstanding
may be readily obtainable.
Responsibility for administration of the accounting sys-
tem, roughly, may be allocated as follows: logically, the
State Board has the responsibility of prescribing minimum
requirements; the County Board of Public Instruction
should determine policies and exercise general control; the
the County Superintendent as the Board's chief executive
officer should direct the development of efficient account-
ing practices in the service of supplies. The County Super-
intendent must of course in larger systems delegate respon-
sibility for supply accounting but this does not relieve him
from responsibility. He must assure comprehensive accur-
An adequate accounting service cannot be maintained
without adequate forms to implement it. Some of the forms
which must be provided are listed and discussed in the
following pages. The committee presents these forms with
some hesitation, but in the belief that in a great many school
situations they may be used or adapted for use with profit
to the system.
Two different types of requisition forms are proposed:
(1) the annual requisition and (2) the stock requisition.
The annual requisition prepared and presented before
the close of each year is necessary to present a clear picture
of the needs for the following year. It should specify the
quantity of supplies on hand and the quantities requested
(in understandable units, such as dozens, cases, or pounds).
If supplies are issued on a per pupil basis the facts needed
44 School Supply Management in Florida
should be given. The form presented on the following page
is now a part of the State uniform accounting and record
system. It was developed and adopted from an earlier
State form by the committee who prepared this handbook.
It represents only a few departures from the original form
but these contribute to the development of sound account-
ing practices in supply management. The new form pro-
vides space not only for the description of the article but
also for a designation of the time the supplies will be
needed. With the knowledge gleaned from the requisition
the county Superintendent will be able to take advantage
of savings which may be effected through seasonal delivery.
Space is provided in the form for the quantity approved by
the County Superintendent, his purchase order number, the
unit price, and the total cost. There is also provided, for
the bookkeeper's information, the fund or funds to which
this will be charged. Whether this form is prepared in
duplicate, triplicate, or more depends on the type of ac-
counting system in each county. Basically though, it should
be prepared in duplicate. The original should be forwarded
to the County Superintendent; the duplicate, retained by
the principal for his file and record.
Accounts and Forms
REQUISITION FOR MATERIALS OR SERVICES
For use in the Public School System, County, Florida
To: THE COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION:
The following materials or services are needed for use in this school and should
be made available by 19- .
Quantity To be completed by County Superintendent
On Request Units When i Quantity Unit Total P. 0.
Hand Nded Approved Price Cost No.*
*If-supplied from Storeroom, indicate by "S." TOTAL i
APPROVED: To be charged to: County General School Fund ( ); Current Fund, ( ); District
Number ( ), (Check).
I hereby certify that funds to cover these expenditures are authorized in the
Budget and have not been encumbered.
NOTE: The foregoing requisition form should be prepared in triplicate, the
original and duplicate to be presented to the County Superintendent for approval.
The original should be retained in the office of the County Superintendent, as the
basis for any purchase orders to be prepared, or, if supplies are to be furnished from
the central storeroom, as the basis for charging the district or school with the supplies.
In such instances the storeroom account in the General Ledger would be credited and
charges would be made to the district or school. The duplicate after approval by the
Superintendent should be returned to the Principal. This requisition form is an essen-
tial part of the new Budget system; it will provide a helpful means of checking
proposed expenditures against Budget limitations.
46 School Supply Management in Florida
If supplies are purchased by the county or district,
charged to and stored in the stockroom for distribution, a
stockroom record is essential. An adaptation of a form used
by Duval County should prove useful in this connection. The
following information may be recorded in the columns pro-
vided; quantity on hand, quantity needed, the unit, and
description of the article. In the column, quantity on hand,
there will be recorded the amount that is actually in the
school as determined by inventory. In the next column the
quantity needed for a specified time will be recorded. This
quantity would depend on the frequencies of delivery. The
information recorded in these two columns is essential for
the manager of the stockroom. This information will enable
him to guard against excessive requisitions. The unit
should be specified in terms of dozens, cases, pounds, or
bottles, or other common units of measurement. The de-
scription of the article should tell exactly what is desired.
The last two columns are reserved for use of the stockroom
STOCKROOM REQUISITION FOR SUPPLIES
Original to be sent to Office
For School No. Location
Requisition 19- By
Quantity on Quantity Unit Description of Article Do not Write in
Hand Needed This Space
Accounts and Forms
REQUISITION TABULATION FORM
It probably will prove to be desirable after all requisi-
tions have been received to consolidate them on a form con-
venient for tabulation. This procedure permits a ready analy-
sis of county wide needs and facilitates placing quantity
orders. The following simple form has possibilities for use
in such an analysis. It provides a convenient means for tab-
ulation of the requisition from each school. After all requi-
sitions have been tabulated, the total column should be
computed. The quantity in the stockroom or available in
other schools will serve to reduce the order for the items
SCHOOLS in Stock-
Item Total room or Quantity Quantity
Needed Available Needed Allowed
A B C D in other
Chalk 1 case 2 cases 5 cases 8 cases 2 cases 6 cases
Erasers 2 doz. 4 doz. 10 doz. 16 doz. 10 doz. 6 doz.
FORMS FOR BIDDING
Calls for Bids
Often the policy of the county system requires, and
State law in some instances demands, that the County Su-
perintendent purchase supplies on a basis of bids. Several
types of bids are in common use, of these, the formal bid
and the oral open market type are most frequent. Illustra-
tions of the forms commonly used in bidding are given as
offering some possibilities for use or adaptation in almost
every school system.
48 School Supply Management in Florida
CALL FOR BIDS BY THE SCHOOL BOARD
Sealed proposals will be received by The
of County, at_
until P. M., 19
(Here state the nature of the supplies upon which bids are to be received and
points of delivery. The detailed list need not be included here, simply reference to
kind and quality should be sufficient.)
1. All bids must be submitted in accordance with specifica-
tions and instructions to bidders on file in the office of
the Superintendent of
_at Street,__ copies
of which will be furnished to prospective bidders on re-
2. Payment to be made on or before days after
completion of contract.
3. No bid will be accepted unless accompanied by a certi-
fied check, or equivalent, equal to 10 % of the first thou-
sand dollars of the bid, plus 5 % of the balance thereof,
as per instructions to bidders, conditioned that the bidder
will enter into and perform a contract in accordance
with his bid, if accepted, and if required by the Board,
give a performance bond equal to 100% of the con-
4. No bid may be withdrawn after the scheduled closing
time for the receipt of bids for a period of thirty days.
5. The Board reserves the right to reject any and all bids
and to waive any formalities.
The Board of County
,Secretary and Superintendent.
Published in the
The purchaser should require each vendor in submitting
his bid to use a form which will be common to all other
bidders. The form on the following page is a part of the
uniform accounting and record system of the State. It is
in satisfactory use by a number of school systems. The
purchaser should note that this form may be used for se-
curing quotations or sealed bids; he should determine
which he desires before completing the form.
Accounts and Forms 49
UNIFORM SCHOOL ACCOUNTING FORMS
Approved, COLIN ENGLISH,
State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
This Bid Number Must Appear on
All Correspondence or Quotations.
County Board of Public Instruction
Please quote lowest prices for merchandise or services described
below, which must include all delivery charges (unless otherwise speci-
fied) to points in this county, accessible to water, rail or motor carriers.
To be shipped by (indicated by check): Freight ( ), Express ( ),
Parcel Post ( ), Local Agency ( ).
Respond only to statement which has been checked:
] 1. Quotations will be received at the office of the County Sup-
erintendent of Public Instruction until,_ 19
S2. Sealed bids will be received at the office of the County Sup-
erintendent of Public Instruction until 19__
At the time designated bids will be formally opened in ac-
cordance with regulations on the reverse side of this sheet.
Chairman of Board
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Quantity Unit of Description of Items per by Check
side of this sheet.
Signature of Bidder.
THIS IS NOT A PURCHASE ORDER
The above bids are submitted in accordance with regulations on reverse
50 School Supply Management in Florida
The following regulations in use with the preceding State form
or an adaptation of these may well be placed on the reverse side of
the bid form or attached on a separate sheet.
BID FORM REGULATIONS
I. Sealed Bids
1. Sealed bids prepared in duplicate, addressed to the
County Board of Public Instruction and marked "Proposals for Furnishing
_to the Board of Public Instruction" will be received
at the time stated and for the quantities of merchandise or type of services
provided in the bid form.
2. No bid will be entertained unless it is prepared upon the Board of Public
Instruction Bid Form and signed in ink by an official of the company sub-
mitting the proposal.
3. Bids must be executed in accordance with and subject to the instructions
and specifications attached hereto.
4. Unless otherwise specified, every bid received must have enclosed therewith
money or a certified check for at least five (5) per centum of the amount of
the bid as a guarantee that the bidder will enter into contract if one shall
be awarded him. Deposits will be returned immediately to unsuccessful bid-
ders. Deposits of successful bidders will be retained until contracts have
been entered into and performance bonds properly executed.
5. Notice is hereby given that, unless otherwise instructed, the person or per-
sons to whom a contract shall be awarded will be required to execute and
deliver to the Board of Public Instruction a bond in an amount equal to
twenty (20) per centum of the accepted bid conditioned on the faithful
performance of the contract. Such bond shall be a surety bond or a bond
executed by contractor secured by the deposit of bonds of the United States,
or the County of State of Florida, and shall be satis-
factory to the Board of Public Instruction and shall be approved by the
attorney for the said Board as to form.
6. Contract for the item or items upon which bids are solicited will specify the
day of 19_ for delivery, f. o. b.,
destination (see attached sheet for distribution points and quantities desig-
nated for each).
7. Unless otherwise specified, the prices quoted by a successful contractor in
his proposal shall become the standard price for furnishing to the Board of
Public Instruction such items as may be ordered from time to time during
the school year beginning July 1, 1938, and ending June 30, 1939, provided
that such items are ordered in the following quantities:
8. The Board of Public Instruction reserves the right to accept or reject pro-
posals in whole or in part. In the event that a proposal is accepted in part
and the successful bidder refuses to enter into contract, the entire deposit
will be forfeited and slall be placed to the credit of the general school fund
of the county.
1. From time to time the Board of Public Instruction will invite quotations
for printing, school supplies, equipment and services which do not come
within the purview of law or regulation requiring more formal procedure.
2. Quotations shall be executed in conformity with the instructions and speci-
fications attached hereto.
3. The Board of Public Instruction reserves the right to accept or reject any
or all quotations in whole or in part.
Accounts and Forms 51
Oral Open Market Bid
In case of small orders often it will be more convenient
and a time saver to secure quotations by telephone than to
resort to more formal bidding procedures. An illustration
of an accepted form for this type quotation is given below:
(Oral open market type of bid, by telephone, should only
be resorted to in emergencies.)
Name and Address Items Quantity Price
I hereby certify the above quotations were the lowest and
best obtainable and that this emergency purchase is for the
best interest of school system.
The importance of the preparation and use of definite
contracts, particularly in large systems, cannot be over-
emphasized. It is not necessary to provide a written con-
tract for every supply purchase; however, the value of a
written contract is that its terms may be easily understood
and definitely established. It is particularly important to
protect the price bases of periodic deliveries in an era of
rising costs. The contract also permits the vendor to antici-
pate his sales and to secure his stocks in relationship to
the prices bid. The following contract forms may prove to
be of value for reference in preparation of agreements be-
tween County School Boards and suppliers.
52 School Supply Management in Florida
Contract for Definite Supplies
This agreement entered into between the Board of Public Instruc-
tion for the County of State of Florida, party
of the first part, and
party of the second part; WITNESSETH:
1. That the party of the second part, for and in consideration of
the sum of dollars, to be well and
truly paid to him by the party of the first part as hereinafter set forth,
agrees to furnish and deliver f. o. b.
all the items, in schedule or schedules attached hereto and forming a
part hereof, in good and perfect condition. The articles in said schedule
being all or part of the items mentioned in a certain bid dated
19 and in certain specifications
and instructions to bidders forming a part of the contract.
2. That the party of the second part agrees to make deliveries on
this contract as follows:
a. (State here the items to be delivered)
b. (State here the items to be delivered)
3. That the party of the first part agrees to pay for the goods
within thirty (30) days after receipt of all the goods in proper and
satisfactory condition as per above schedules. (If funds are not avail-
able or anticipated within 30 days, state the agreed upon payment
4. It is understood and agreed by the parties hereto that if the
party of the second part fails to make delivery of all .the goods to be
furnished under this contract at the place and at the time specified
above, the party of the first part reserves the right to go into the open
market and purchase, with or without advertisement, a sufficient quan-
tity of similar goods of same or nearest quality, if same quality cannot
be procured, at the expense of the party of the second part, and to
withhold all money that may be due or become due and apply same to
any expense incurred over and above the contract price or amount
that may be consequent on such failure.
5. The County Board of Public Instruction, party of the first part,
also reserves the right to terminate and cancel said contract if such
board does not wish to purchase in the open market the articles re-
maining undelivered on date specified for delivery. When such cancella-
tion is made, the balance remaining due under said contract for goods
theretofore delivered, shall become due and payable upon demand.
Accounts and Forms
6. In witness whereof, the party of the first part has caused the
same to be signed by its Chairman and attested by its Secretary and has
affixed its official seal, and the party of the second part has hereunto
set his hand and seal, this day of A. D. 19- .
Signed, Sealed and Delivered Board of Public Instruction of---
in the Presence of: County
Party of the First Part.
Party of the Second Part.
(The preparation of a contract, of course, must be in conformance with
any existing State laws.)
Annual Contract for Large Systems
When school supplies are purchased on annual contract
basis there should be an annual contract, together with an
annual bidder's bond form required of vendors doing busi-
ness with a school system, similar to the one which appears
This agreement, made and entered into this day of
19 by and between
(state here name of school system, county and State), party of the first
(state here name of contractor or vendor, giving name, address, city,
county and state), party of the second part;
WITNESSETH: That for and in consideration of the mutual
premises and agreements hereinafter stated, said parties do hereby con-
tract and agree as follows:
Said party of the second part agrees to furnish and deliver to said
party of the first part, for and during the period commencing -
and ending the following
articles, supplies, or services at the prices named, in accordance with
the proposal or bid of the party of the second part filed with the party
of the first part, in such quantities and at such times as said party of
the first part may require; all goods and services to be in conformity
with the specifications referred to in said proposal, and all of the terms
and conditions stated or referred to in connection with said proposal
being hereby adopted and declared to be a part of this contract.
(Here list in detail the stock number; articles and description; unit
brand; and price per unit. This may necessitate several pages or more,
according to the quantity of material or supplies involved.)
54 School Supply Management in Florida
All supplies, materials and/or services embraced in the foregoing
shall represent first class workmanship in every particular.
Terms: 2%-30 days. (Or state such other agreed upon payment basis.)
IT IS FURTHER UNDERSTOOD AND AGREED, by and between
the parties hereto, that:
(a) All merchandise delivered hereunder shall conform strictly
to the samples submitted with the proposal of the party of the second
part upon which this agreement is based.
(b) Invoices in triplicate shall accompany delivery of the mer-
(c) Should there be, at any time during the period of this contract,
a decrease in the prices herein, the party of the second part agrees im-
mediately to give written notice of such decrease to party of the first
part, and to make a corresponding decrease in the prices on goods sub-
ject to the provisions of this contract, so long as the lower prices are in
effect; however, at no time will the prices exceed the prices listed herein.
The party of the second part agrees further to certify on all invoices
that there has (or has not) been a decrease in the prices since the
awarding of the contract and, in case of a decrease, to state the amount
of said decrease. In case of a decrease from contract prices, a credit
memorandum MUST accompany invoice covering the difference between
the contract and the lower price.
(d) When a sample is taken from a shipment and sent to a public
testing laboratory for test, and the test shows that the sample does not
comply with the specifications, the cost of such test shall be borne by
the party of the second part.
(e) All deliveries shall be made to
(here state whether to storeroom of school system or to specified list
of separate schools), and all costs of delivery, drayage, or freight, and
of packing shall be borne by the party of the second part.
(f) Each item shall be packed in standard uniform packages,
bundles, cartons, or cases; each package, bundle, carton or case shall
be marked as to contents with name of item; all wrapped items shall
be wrapped in kraft paper of sufficient weight and strength to keep
the package from breaking; and all labels and stampings on packages,
bundles, and cartons shall read-(Here set forth your requirements
as to each group, whether janitorial supplies, classroom supplies, etc.)
(g) The authorized representative of the school board shall reject
any and all materials, which, in his opinion, are not in strict compliance
and conformity with the requirements of the specifications or are not
equal in every respect to the sample submitted; and all articles so re-
jected shall be removed promptly from the premises of the school sys-
tem at the cost of the party of the second part.
Accounts and Forms 55
(h) Any tax of any nature which may be imposed by any govern-
mental agency after the date of the quotations upon which this contract
is based, and prior to the delivery of the merchandise, shall be added to
the prices herein listed and shall be paid by the party of the first part.
(i) All prices herein listed are subject to: (here state any state
tax, such as sales tax, etc. and whether or not party of the first or
second part is to pay same.)
(j) Cash discount shall be computed from date of accepted de-
livery of the merchandise. If tests are necessary such discount shall
be computed from date of approved test report.
The party of the first part agrees that such of the articles, supplies
or services named as may be required during the period above men-
tioned shall be ordered and purchased from the party of the second
part at such times as said articles, supplies, or services may be required,
and that payment for goods, supplies, or services so purchased shall
be made within a reasonable and proper time after the delivery of said
goods or services, upon the party of the second part filing with the party
of the first part invoice or statement therefore in the form and manner
as may be prescribed by the party of the first part.
Should the party of the second part fail or neglect to supply or
deliver any of said goods, articles, or services, at the prices named and
at the times and places above stated, then the said party of the first
part may, without further notice or demand, cancel and rescind this
contract or may purchase said goods, supplies, or service elsewhere
and hold said party of the second part responsible and liable for all
damages which may be sustained thereby, or on account of the failure
or neglect of said party of the second part in performing any of the
terms and conditions of this contract; it being specifically provided and
agreed that time shall be the essence of this agreement.
It is further understood and agreed that all of the conditions,
directions, instructions' and specifications as included and shown in the
advertisement for bids, general conditions, instructions to bidders,
specifications or other special notes, are included herein and all such
contract documents are in force and effect the same as though fully
Signed, Sealed and Delivered Board of Public Instruction of
in the Presence of: County.
Party of the First Part
Party of the Second Part
56 School Supply Management in Florida
A contract bond should be required of all vendors doing
business with school systems where all or a part of the buy-
ing may be done on an annual contract basis. This bond
protects the purchaser in case the vendor should in any
way fail to live up to the terms of the contract. The bond
should be attached to and become a part of the contract.
KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS, That we
(hereinafter called Principal) as Principal and
a corporation of the State of with its principal
office at (hereinafter called the Surety) as
Surety, are held and firmly bound unto the Board of Public Instruction
of County (hereinafter called the Board of Public
Instruction) in the full and just sum of Dollars
($ ), for the payment whereof said Principal and Surety bind
themselves, their heirs, executors, administrators, successors and as-
signs, jointly and severally, firmly, by these presents.
WHEREAS, the Principal, by means of a written agreement,
dated entered into a contract with the Board of
Public Instruction for
a copy of which agreement is by reference made a part hereof:
NOW, THEREFORE, THE CONDITION OF THIS OBLIGATION
IS SUCH that if the Principal shall faithfully perform the contract on
his part, and satisfy all claims and demands, incurred for the same, and
shall fully indemnify and save harmless the Board of Public Instruction
from all costs and damage which it may suffer by reason of failure so to
do, and shall fully reimburse and repay the Board of Public Instruction
for outlay and expense which the said Board may incur in making good
any such default, and shall pay all persons who have contracts directly
with the Principal for labor or materials, then this obligation shall be
null and void; otherwise it shall remain in full force and effect.
PROVIDED, however, that no suit, action or proceeding by reason
of any default whatever shall be brought on this bond after twelve
(12) months from the day on which the final payment under the con-
tract falls due.
PROVIDED, FURTHER, that compliance with the following pro-
visions and conditions shall be a condition precedent to any right of
recovery under this bond:
1. The Surety shall not be liable under this instrument unless the
consideration to be paid Principal by the terms of said contract shall be
Accounts and Forms
2. That the Board of Public Instruction shall faithfully and punc-
tually perform all the terms and conditions of said contract by said
Board to be performed.
3. That if the Principal shall default upon said contract, the Surety
shall have the right, at its option, to complete said contract or to sub-
let the completion thereof.
4. That the Board of Public Instruction shall notify the Surety,
by registered letter, addressed and mailed to it at is Home Office, of
any breach of said contract within fifteen (15) days after such breach
shall have come to the knowledge of the Board of Public Instruction.
Signed, and sealed this day of 19_ .
In presence of
Board of Public Instruction
Chairman of Board of Public
Secretary of Board.
PURCHASE ORDER FORMS
On the following page is an adaptation of the purchase
order form in use in the Florida Uniform Accounting Sys-
tem. Ordinarily this form will be made in duplicate. The
organization of the system will determine whether it should
be made in duplicate, triplicate or more. Upon completion,
the quantity and description of the items desired should be
58 School Supply Management in Florida
Your Invoice Must Show This
PURCHASE ORDER FOR MATERIALS OR SERVICES
For Use in the Public School System, County, Florida
Please enter our order
for materials or services listed below:
to be delivered by (Date) 19-
Quantity DESCRIPTION Unit Price Total Cost
If goods cannot be delivered as requested, please notify us at once.
Chairman of County Board of Public Instruction.
Superintendent and Secretary.
All orders must be on Board of Public Instruction regular order forms.
Notify Board of Public Instruction at once, if shipment cannot be made on date and at price
If price is omitted on this order, it is agreed that goods will be charged at lowest price prevailing
No charge for packing, boxing or cartage or any substitution will be accepted, unless pre-
Goods subject to inspection on arrival, notwithstanding prior payment to secure cash discount.
Goods rejected on account of inferior quality or not in accordance with specifications will be
returned to shipper with charge for transportation and labor paid and are not to be replaced
except upon instructions from Board of Public Instruction.
It is agreed that the goods ordered shall comply with all State and Federal laws relative thereto
and that the shipper will defend and save harmless the Board of Public Instruction from loss, cost
or damage by reason of actual or alleged infringements of letters-patent concerning same.
The Board of Public Instruction reserves the right to cancel this order ar any unfilled portion
thereof, if not delivered at the price, at the time, or of the quality specified.
Accounts and Forms
The County Board should establish definite policies
relating to payments. In its policies, it should determine
whether there would be any preferential treatment of
vendors in classifications for payment. For example: Should
the utility companies, local trades people, or concerns offer-
ing discounts for early payment be placed in the preferred
class for payment? That is, should such bills take prece-
dence over bills of other types?
Important savings may be effected by using business-
like procedures in handling payments. Bills should not be
paid until the supporting invoices, delivery slips and pur-
chase orders are in and goods checked. A careful check
should be made on all purchases that provide for cash dis-
counts. A 2% discount within ten days is a saving worth
taking when compared to present day interest rates. It
would be better to make provision for the discount within
a certain time after delivery rather than having discount
based on date of invoice. Many firms do not permit dis-
counts, while others are very liberal as to payment. Since
this is true, classification of payments is necessary. The
person in charge of payments would keep all factors in
mind and proceed accordingly.
STORES DISBURSEMENT RECORD
This form is recommended for the stores disbursement
record. It may be set up in a card system which would also
serve as a continuing inventory. A card would be used for
each particular item in the stockroom. Space is provided
to record the date of delivery. The second space indicates
the requisition number. It is possible, by having a code
system for the schools of the county, to indicate the school
to which the supplies are delivered. The next column,
Amount Withdrawn, is the actual amount delivered to the
school. The last column, Balance on Hand, acts as a continu-
ing inventory of the amount in the stockroom. When new
supplies are received in the central storage rooms, they are
entered with the date and invoice number on this form and
at periodic intervals actual inventory count should be
60 School Supply Management in Florida
Stores Disbursement Record
Date I Requisition No. Amount Withdra wn EBalance on Hand
1/7/41 7 75
1/9/41 8743-C 15 (6
1/20/41 9246-A 20 411
2/1/41 10147 241
2/7/41 9460-C0 65 175
2/15/41 Inventory 175
The following form is suggested as a disbursement
record for each school. Space is provided horizontally for
the name of the school, the allotment on an annual basis,
the time of the disbursements, and the balance due the
school at the end of the year. Vertically the items which
are to be delivered are listed. This form is used to indicate
at a glance the amount disbursed to each school and when
the supplies were issued.
School Disbursement Record
Nm School Balanie Annual Sept. Oct. Nov. Balance
Name Reiqu isition
Pencils-Blue and Red
Supply management is important to the school program
out of all proportion to its cost. It may further or it may
retard progress in the schools. Instructional values, cus-
todial efficiency and healthy surroundings are inevitably
dependent upon the service of supplies. Sometimes these
considerations are overlooked through well motivated but
misdirected efforts to lower costs. On the other hand, high
priced supplies and equipment are sometimes purchased
with the best intentions when cheaper and less expensively
processed materials would serve. Neither principle is cor-
rect nor desirable. Any commodity purchased for a school
system may be considered an extravagance if its quality is
so low that it cannot fulfill its function or is of a quality
higher than that necessary for its function. As a corollary,
the budget for school supplies should contain neither more
nor less than is necessary to provide adequately for school
needs. The supply budget should be a cooperative enter-
prise presenting joint judgments of business and instruc-
tional personnel. In short, cooperative planning within both
school and larger administrative units is an essential to an
There is a need in Florida for leadership from the De-
partment of Education in the establishment and mainte-
nance of superior services of school supply. The depart-
ment may not only stimulate desirable policies and prac-
tices among the local school units but also may exercise a
number of important functions. Some of these are pre-
scription of minimum standards, the formulation or ap-
proval of valid specifications, organization of plans for co-
operative purchase, providing means for adequate testing
and acting as a clearing house of information of interest to
the school supply services.
Standard Lists and Specifications
In appraising the needs of a school system, equipment
and supplies should be classified as essential, important, de-
sirable, or undesirable. Often, the money spent for desir-
able equipment and supplies precludes spending for essen-
62 School Supply Management in Florida
tials with a consequent loss to the central instructional
program. Discrimination among needs is essential to effi-
cient supply management. To that end, standard lists and
specifications for supplies should be prepared in consulta-
tion with, and in the light of the needs of instructional staff.
The criterion for the preparation of such lists and specifica-
tions should be effectiveness in provision for school needs
within the budget limitations.
A large number of standards and specifications for
supplies and equipment may be secured from private, state,
and national research laboratories; but unfortunately, few
such standards and specifications have been evaluated in
the light of school needs. There are, however, certain office,
sanitary, janitorial and custodial supplies which have a
common utility; consequently, specifications which have
been developed by other agencies are, in many instances,
quite valid for use by school purchasing departments. Typi-
cal examples of these may be found among the large body
of commodity specifications prepared by the National
Bureau of Standards as bases for purchases of the several
departments of the Federal Government.
Preparation of specifications for instructional supplies,
however, is a very much more difficult problem. It is an
important area for exploration and research by progressive
Test for Performance
An important corollary of specification preparation is
provision for tests to determine how nearly manufacturers
have met required standards. Tests which are feasible in
the typical school system should be evaluated somewhat as
follows: (1) Does the test consistently measure the quality
or qualities that are significant to the school program? (2)
Is the test simple in formula and economical in operation?
(3) Is the test fair to manufacturers and producers in gen-
eral or is it weighted in favor of a particular manufac-
turer's product or methods? School business management
should evolve standards and specifications in consultation
and cooperation with instructional staff; make use of proved
specifications for those articles whose utility standards are
common to all consumers; and develop testing procedures
which are accurate, simple, economical, and fair.
Funds may as easily be conserved as wasted in school
supply purchases. Unit costs for comparable procurement
in well managed school supply services will generally vary
inversely with the size of the purchasing unit. Reduced
prices for quantity purchases in many commodities are
available to school systems. Frequently the larger the pur-
chasing unit the greater is the savings possible. The ad-
vantages of quantity purchase make it advisable for school
officials to explore the possibilities involved in enlargement
of purchasing units. Pooled or cooperative buying among
school administrative units or between school systems and
other governmental units may easily result in effective sav-
ings for the school system.
A prevalent source of waste of school supplies may be
found it unwise purchases. Often schools purchase beyond
any reasonable consumption need, or purchase materials of
relatively little value to the instructional or custodial pro-
gram. Granting, however, that the school unit has pur-
chased wisely, a number of savings are possible through
conservation of school supplies no matter what the size of
the unit. Care should be exercised to prevent distribution
which may encourage waste.
Classroom and storage inventories carefully prepared
and continued offer some safeguard against carelessness
and theft and often prevent duplication of purchases.
Complete use of every item which has been distributed
to a pupil should not only be secured for reasons of economy
but also for the character development of the child. Ex-
travagance and waste on the part of the pupil carelessly
entered into under the prodigal tolerance of a public school
system may well help to form habit patterns which are diffi-
cult to change.
The recommendations for school supply management
embodied on this page are made in the full knowledge that
marked differences in practice are made necessary by the
64 School Supply Management in Florida
size of the school unit, and variables in service rendered.
The Committee Recommends:
(1) That every school system should be organized in
such a manner as to encourage and promote close integra-
tion between the work of those responsible for supply man-
agement and the work of the instructional staff. The
superintendent should be the executive head of the system
and all members of the business and instructional staff
should be responsible to him and through him to the board.
Under no circumstances should the business or supply man-
ager be directly responsible to the board as such a plan of
organization tends to place emphasis on the separation of
the business functions from the instructional functions. The
superintendent should at all times be conscious of the need
for close integration between the instruction and supply
function and should take every step practicable to promote
(2) That standard lists be prepared cooperatively be-
tween business management and instructional personnel
and that further study be given the problem by state,
regional and national agencies with a view to the simplifica-
tion of selection by definition of standards;
(3) That valid specifications for instructional supplies
be developed cooperatively among as many units or agen-
cies as may be induced to participate and which are capable
of making a contribution to the study;
(4) That wherever practicable tests for performance be
developed which can be made locally and that, in the ab-
sence of a local testing service, aid from approved agencies
of evaluation be secured;
(5) That the purchasing division for each school ad-
ministrative unit or group of school administrative units be
the largest grouping practicable under the organizational
prescription in force; and
(6) That a system of continuing or perpetual inventories
be established and maintained.
Burros, Francis T. and Walker, T. George, Review of Educational
Research, Vol. XI, No. 2, Chapter X, "Supply Service." American
Educational Research Association. April, 1941.
Florida Statutes, Chapter 19355, Florida School Code. Sections 423
(12-c), 433 (12-c), 1030, Article XII, Section 8.
Graham, James L., Consultant, School Plant Operation and Maintenance
in Florida, Chapter V "Housekeeping," pp. 49, 51, 53, 57-58,
61-62, Florida State Department of Education, Tallahassee. 1940.
Hibert, R. W., Chairman, Committee on Supply Research, National
Association of Public School Business Officials. Bulletin No. 1
(1932), Bulletin No. 4 (1933), Bulletin No. 5 (1934), Bulletin
No. 6 (1938).
Jimerson, John A., Specifications for Selected Major Items of School
Supplies, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. 1940.
Morphet, Edgar L., Equipment and Supplies for Small Schools. Ameri-
can School Board Journal. July, 1939.
Reeves, S. N., Tests of Quality for School Equipment and Supplies,
George Peabody College. 1934.
Walker, T. George, Chairman, Committee on School Supply Manage-
ment, "School Supply Management." Southern States Work Con-
ference on School Administrative Problems. Bulletin No. 3. 1941.