Effort to support Skyward continues
Written by Nathan Vine, Stevens Point Journal Media
As the deadline for Skyward Inc. to protest Wisconsin’s decision to use a Minnesota company for its student information systems arrives today, local officials continue to drum up support for the Stevens Point-based company.
On Feb. 1, the state Department of Administration chose Minnesota-based Infinite Campus as the sole provider for student information software systems for public school districts in Wisconsin.
Losing bidders have until today to protest the decision and stop the state from negotiating an estimated $15 million contract with the Blaine, Minn., company.
Skyward announced Feb. 8 that it planned to protest the decision, claiming that its bid was $2.6 million less a year than Infinite Campus. It also claimed that implementation costs identified by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, which are the responsibility of each school district, were not considered in the evaluation.
Along with Skyward, other companies that submitted proposals were California-based Edupoint Educational Systems, Florida-based Focus School Software, Illinois-based Follett Software Co., New York-based Pearson Inc. and Alabama-based Software Technology Inc. Only Edupoint confirmed it would not protest the decision.
Portage County Executive Patty Dreier said Thursday that a county review of the selection process this week revealed “obvious flaws,” and as a result, Skyward’s protest should be seriously considered.
“All of Portage County is behind Skyward as they submit their appeal to the Department of Administration,” Dreier said in a news release. “Every Wisconsinite wants the initiatives and processes in government to make sense, be fiscally responsible in the shorter and longer term, and have unquestionable integrity. As Portage County executive, I believe this DPI/DOA case fails the test on all three counts.”
State Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point, who on Wednesday along with a group of regional legislators introduced a multivendor SIS bill, urged the public to continue supporting Skyward. Shankland has talked with state Superintendent Tony Evers but had been unsuccessful in reaching Gov. Scott Walker.