What is CESA Purchasing?

CESA Purchasing is a Wisconsin statewide cooperative that works with over 100 vendors to provide contracts with discounts and other value-added benefits to K12 schools, libraries, technical colleges, universities, municipalities, and other non-profit educational entities. 

CESA Purchasing's mission is to level the playing field for ALL Wisconsin schools. By negotiating contracts on behalf of all Wisconsin schools, CESA Purchasing can create contracts with discounts that benefit the smallest school as much as the largest. 

CESA Purchasing makes it easy for schools and other educational entities to take advantage of already negotiated and/or bid discounts through our national AEPA contracts, Wisconsin-Only agreements and contracts.

How do districts use CESA Purchasing? Easy as 1 - 2 - 3!

1. Search for products and services from CESA Purchasing vendor partners. You can view a complete list of vendor partners on our Vendors page.

2. Mention “CESA Purchasing” at the point of purchase to ensure you receive the discounted pricing and/or other value-added benefits.

3Save time and money by purchasing through CESA Purchasing’s pre-negotiated contracts.

Who can access the services of CESA Purchasing?

CESA Purchasing is FREE for Wisconsin K12 districts and educational entities.

Programs that can utilize our contracts are governed by the same state statues that govern all Wisconsin CESA organizations – WI State Statute 116 (“Cooperative educational service agencies may provide leadership, coordination, and education services to school districts, University of Wisconsin System institutions, and technical colleges.  Cooperative educational service agencies may facilitate communication and cooperation among all public, private, and tribal schools, and all public and private agencies and organizations that provide services to pupils.”)

How does CESA Purchasing relate to the CSN?

CESA Purchasing is a statewide program that works in conjunction with the CESA Statewide Network (CSN).  CESA Purchasing receives an administrative fee from vendors based on sales.  These fees fund our program and support our marketing efforts to inform districts and educational entities of the contracts and savings that may occur. 

What types of contracts and vendors does CESA Purchasing have?

AEPA Contracts – In 2011, CESA Purchasing joined AEPA as the Wisconsin representative member for the national cooperative that is an affiliate of AESA.  Contracts through AEPA are nationally bid then locally awarded, and comply with all state laws.  Currently about half of our vendors are through AEPA.

Wisconsin-Only Agreements and Contracts – Since 2012, Wisconsin-Only Agreements and contracts have expanded from three to 55 and continue to grow.  Interested vendors contact CESA Purchasing and submit applications in order to partner.  These are not bid prices, but they do typically provide some sort of discount or benefit associated through CESA Purchasing. 

Nutrition Contracts – The CP Nutrition Program is open to all Wisconsin schools, including Private and Charter, who choose to participate in cooperative purchasing of food, milk, bread, beverages, small ware, and disposables.  In addition, they will receive support on policies, procedures, and DPI procurement review. The group groceries are purchased through a prime vendor, which is bid every five years.