Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Disparity Study?
A Disparity Study (“Study”) is an evaluation of the procurement and contracting practices of a governmental entity (i.e. school board, city, county, state, etc.), and its prime contractors/professional consultants particularly in their use of minority and women‐owned business enterprises.  Under Richmond v. Croson, the U.S. Supreme Court requires public entities desirous of utilizing race conscious remedies to show, through a factual predicate, that there is a compelling governmental interest to do so.  The disparity study is utilized to develop the factual predicate. 

Who is sponsoring the Study?
Portsmouth Public Schools, Portsmouth, VA

What is the purpose of the Study?
The purpose of the study is to show whether there is a compelling government interest in utilizing race and gender-conscious remedies and how to narrowly tailor any such remedies to any discrimination found.  This determination will be determine through several analysis, including a robust statistical analysis consistent with current legal requirements.  The Study will determine if a statistical disparity exists in the award of Portsmouth Public Schools contracts to minority and women owned businesses (M/WBEs) compared to M/WBEs who are ready, willing, and able to provide goods and services to Portsmouth Public Schools.

What guidelines exist to help direct the Study?
The Study will be guided by the United States Supreme Court’s 1989 decision in City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co., 488 U.S. 469 (1989), its progeny, and other relevant court cases applicable to the 4th Circuit.

Who is conducting the Disparity Study?
Miller3 Consulting, Inc., a national expert in conducting disparity studies based in Atlanta, Georgia, is conducting the Study. M³ Consulting is reviewing the District’s contract records, identifying market area businesses, interviewing key managers, and collect anecdotal accounts from business owners.

How does Portsmouth Public Schools benefit from a Disparity Study?
Three benefits to the District are:

  • Identify best practices to improve the District’s contracting process;
  • Increase number of M/WBE bidders on the District’s contracts; and
  • Lower the District’s procurement costs.

How will Portsmouth Public Schools identify available businesses?
The District’s consultant, Miller3 Consulting, Inc., is conducting a thorough data collection process. The District’s contract and payment records, certification lists, business licenses, Dun & Bradstreet data, Census data, will be used to help identify available businesses.

What industries are being studied?
The District is conducting a comprehensive study that will cover:

  • Construction services (prime contractors);
  • Construction services (subcontractors);
  • Professional services;
  • Non-professional services; and,
  • Goods and supplies.

What is the time period that will be studied?
The study period for the Disparity Study is FY 2014—FY 2018.

When will the study be completed?
The District anticipates the completion of the Disparity Study in July 2020.

How can local business owners get involved?
Local business owners can get involved in several ways.

  • Participate in a one‐on‐one business owner personal interview conducted either in person or via telephone
  • Participate in scheduled meetings – focus groups or public forum
  • Complete a business owner survey
  • Provide membership lists from local business and trade associations, upon request

Who should business owners contact to get additional information?
Miller3 Consulting, Inc., can be contacted by telephone at (404) 827‐9019 or by email at [email protected].

Portsmouth Public Schools, M/WBE Administrator, Gwendolyn Davis, can be contacted by telephone at (757) 393-8261, Extension 14140 or by email at [email protected].

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2023 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.