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Stevens Point company files challenge to rejection of state contract

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STEVENS POINT, WI (WTAQ) - A Stevens Point software company filed an official challenge Friday to its rejection of a state contract to create a statewide database of Wisconsin public school students.

Skyward of Stevens Point said it should have been awarded the contract for the $15 million system instead of the winning bidder, Infinite Campus of Blaine Minnesota.

Both companies already have student data software for schools in various regions of the state. But Skyward serves more Wisconsin schools – and the firm said it would have to leave the state if it didn’t get the statewide contract.

Skyward filed its challenge with the Walker administration. It said Skyward’s bid was $2.6 million less per year than what the Minnesota firm offered. And Skyward said the implementation costs identified by the state’s education agency were not reflected in the comparison of the two offers.

The new computer system will let schools get information on any student in the state’s public and charter schools – everything from grades to health records.

Last year, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation said it would give Skyward $12 million in state tax breaks if it won the contract. Once that news got out, the Walker administration threw out all the bids.

When they re-bid the project, they had former Doyle attorney Cari Anne Renlund oversee the process. She found no problems with the new process – and Walker’s administration said the Minnesota scored higher than Skyward in cost and several technical areas. 

Meantime, the Minnesota company that won the contract said Friday that the bidding process was, “fair, transparent, and open.” Infinite Campus released a scoresheet which showed how it was given the highest technical score in the bidding process – and how it claimed the lowest cost.

There have been reports that Infinite Campus has had financial ties to Governor Scott Walker and other Wisconsin politicians – and the firm denied it. 

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