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Skyward takes state contract award challenge public


STEVENS POINT, WI (WTAQ) - Skyward – the Stevens Point firm that’s challenging the award of a state software contract to a Minnesota company – has taken its case to the public.

In a full-page statewide Sunday newspaper ad, Skyward founder Jim King said 400 of Wisconsin’s 443 school districts would have to change their computer software at “great expense” to taxpayers.

Most schools already use Skyward, which lost out on a bid for a $15 million statewide student information database.

The company that won the contract, Infinite Campus of Blaine Minnesota, said it outbid Skyward fair and square – and a former Doyle attorney who oversaw the process agreed. But Skyward said there were cost factors that state officials did not consider. And on Friday, Skyward filed an official challenge to the awarding of the contract.

The appeal was sent to Governor Scott Walker’s administration department. But Walker distanced himself from the matter during a visit to Wausau late Friday. He said the Department of Public Instruction made the decision, and his officials were simply administering the award.

Still, King’s ad urged people to contact both Walker and state public school superintendent Tony Evers. The ad stated again that the firm would have to leave Wisconsin if it doesn’t win its appeal – because it wouldn’t have enough work otherwise.

King’s ad said Skyward has 385 employees, and it expects to have 600 over the next decade. Walker said it’s possible that the state could work with Skyward to stay in Wisconsin – but not until the bid challenge and any resulting legal actions are resolved.