VEX / RECF not approved vendors for our district.

About 2 years ago Houston Independent School District began to require any and all purchases made by schools to be from a designated list of “approved vendors”. The list is here: https://www.houstonisd.org/Page/154804
This made things fairly difficult for our student run robotics team, which now has over $2K locked in a school account, but over time we were able to circumvent these issues with less-than-convenient workarounds.

We submitted a request, along with hundreds of other VEX teams in the Houston area I’m sure, for VEX and RobotEvents to become approved vendors. It has now been almost 2 years and we have gotten no response and no follow up.

It doesn’t make sense to complain about HISD’s lack of competence here on the forum, so I’m not going to talk about that. Instead, I want to ask what VEX can do to help all of us South Texas teams out. Is there a way for VEX officials and HISD Admins to talk? Any possibility that we can know if a proposed deal was arranged but didn’t fall through? Even if the issue cannot be resolved, I just want to know why.

Thank You,
Team 285 of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Approved vendor lists are common practice for school districts. As far as I know, most businesses that become approved vendors have no hand in the matter; the district makes the decision on their own.

VEX/RECF are definitely approved vendors for a number of districts as things are, so I can’t imagine that your district wants something from approved vendors that isn’t already taken care of.

I would suggest resubmitting the paperwork to get them as approved vendors; the original paperwork might have just been inadvertently lost in a black hole of other papers.

Speak to your principal to talk to the district business office. VEX and RECF can not request to be on the approved list, it has to come from consumers in the district (meaning building, clubs, … ,). Sometimes that has to go through the school board/committee for approval.

Not saying this happened, but it does remind me of an odd situation several years back where team/schools wishing to host a (I won’t name the competition) event were told by the area competition coordinator that they could only host if they did not host any other types of robotics competitions, specifically VEX. Fortunately, that bit of nonsense seems to have faded in the last 2 years.

As your neighbor I can register for events through robotevents no problem, but i cannot buy anything from VEX. I wish VEX would apply to be on the state of Texas buy board so that all districts could buy direct. Funny since VEX is in Texas. I have to purchase all my VEX parts from Teaching Systems Inc. Everything gets dropped shipped from Greenville, so I get it in 2 days. Just annoying that I have to go through a 3rd party.

@Drow please get VEX to become a buy board vendor

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