Prospective vendors can apply using this online form. VR verifies the application is filled correctly and then imports the data into our database. VR then send out the Vendor Agreement documents to the prospective vendor. The prospective vendor is not approved until all documents are returned complete and educational approval is granted.
Sole Proprietors where a single person seeks to become a vendor (tutor, lessons etc.) can be approved within a few days depending on how long the background check takes to come back. Organizations with multiple employees often take longer due to the owner having to work with the DOJ to get their custodian of records information. Our Vendor Relations department is always working with the appropriate governmental agencies to ensure student safety while streamlining our processes.
Through the online application and review of the questions on the Vendor Agreement documents. Any business may apply to become an approved vendor to serve students enrolled in IEM schools as long as they provide an approved educational service or product. Vendors are reviewed by both the business side of our organization and the educational side.
Vendors are paid in a Net 30 policy. This means vendors are paid within 30 days of our accounting department receiving the invoice.
The process is confidential to respect the privacy of the vendor. We seek to offer as many vendors as our enrolled families desire but occasionally a vendor is denied for a legal reason or because they do not provide an approved educational activity/product.
IEM Charter schools have been safely and ethically operating since the early days of the charter school movement in California. From a vendor relations perspective, student safety is our ultimate priority. While we cannot speak to what philosophies other schools may bring to their vendor program, we follow all DOJ guidelines for background checks and work closely with our insurance carrier to balance parent choice and risk.
It’s all about your student safety. We have asked the DOJ specifically about this and they explained that in 2011 their policy changed. Prior to that time having an owner of a small business with multiple employees sign a form was acceptable. Now, schools need evidence of the custodian of records account which serves as proof all their employees are fingerprinted and background checked (source). We continue to have dialogue with the DOJ to see why some schools are not following these guidelines.
Yes, VR updates the description field when vendors give more information and vendors are welcome to post on our Facebook pages. The schools do not currently highlight vendors on social media due to our large vendor list. To post on our Facebook pages, do the following:
Prospective vendors may contact email@example.com or call 1-800-979-4436 and ask for the Vendor Relations department. Currently enrolled families need to work with their ES on vendor questions.
For families, your ES will let you know when the PO has been submitted. For vendors, you will receive a purchase order from the school. Any services used without an active purchase order are not the responsibility of the school to pay for and must be worked out between the family and the vendor. It is important for both the family and vendor to ensure there is an active PO before any services are provided as that is the school's agreement to pay for the services provided.
John Wilberger has been an advocate for the home school and independent study movement since its inception and began homeschooling his children in 1989. See more information about John and our other leaders.