Lead Agency Overview


The Interlocal Purchasing System, better known as TIPS Purchasing Cooperative, began in 2002 as a small regional cooperative of the Region 8 Education Service Center (ESC). While the cooperative has far exceeded the initial vision, Region 8 ESC has maintained its role as the lead agency for what is now a national operation.


Region 8 ESC is one of twenty Education Service Centers located strategically across the state of Texas.  The ESC’s serve primarily as intermediate education agencies bridging the gap between the Texas Education Agency and the more than 1,000 public school districts and charter schools located in the state.  ESC’s have been in existence since the late 1960’s when they were commissioned by the Texas state legislature to provide very limited services to local school districts.


Over the years, the services provided by the ESC’s have expanded to include various entrepreneurial programs along with the services designated by the state.  TIPS is one such program implemented and administered by Region 8 ESC.


The Region 8 ESC organization provides educational resources and support to 47 school districts in an 11 county area of the Northeastern most corner of Texas.  This represents more than 56,000 Pre-K through 12th grade students. In 2012, ESC 8 purchased a 175,000 square feet facility formerly owned and operated as the world headquarters of Pilgrim's Pride Industries, one of the world's largest poultry producers. All ESC 8 operations, including TIPS, were transferred to this facility located halfway between the two rural Texas communities of Mt. Pleasant and Pittsburg.


ESC 8 has a long-standing reputation of providing quality services to their customers. In this same tradition, the Region 8 administration provides a staff of superior quality to administer and operate The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS).  All TIPS contracts are awarded by the ESC 8 seven-member Board of Directors, and each TIPS vendor has met strict guidelines established by the ESC 8 administration and the TIPS legal team. The bidding statute for the lead agency is Chapter 44.031 of the Texas Education Code. Click Here for more information about the TIPS Competitive Bidding Process.


To learn more about the Region 8 Education Service Center, visit the ESC 8 website.