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Education

Miami-Dade Schools Will Track Minority-Owned-Business Contracts

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John O'Connor
/
WLRN

Miami-Dade school officials will track how much minority-owned subcontractors are paid and create a new program to make sure district contracts are properly awarded.

Last month, the Urban League of Miami and the local NAACP released an audit they said showed black-owned businesses received a disproportionately low share of district contracts.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho says he appreciated the response.

“Some individuals were a little disturbed, perhaps, by the conversation," Carvalho said, in announcing the program. "I was not. I welcome the conversation. It was a result of that input that we can perfect our policy and fix it once and for all.”

The announcement follows Carvalho meeting with black community leaders.

The changes mean the school district will more closely track which subcontractors were actually paid for work. In the past, a subcontractor might have been hired, and then replaced, before being paid for any work.

The district has commissioned three studies to review who was receiving district contracts. The district is creating a program to hire more minority- and women-owned small businesses, but by law, must first prove minority- or women-owned businesses are underrepresented.