Skyward files notice of protest over losing bid

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin-based school software provider has filed a protest with the state over its losing of a $15 million contract to a Minnesota company.

Skyward Inc. said Friday it had filed the protest with Gov. Scott Walker's administration, saying its bid was lower than the bid winner Infinite Campus of Blaine, Minn.

The contract winner will be the sole provider of student information systems to Wisconsin's more than 440 school districts and non-district charter schools.

The state said that week that Infinite Campus had the highest scoring proposal based on several criteria, including having the highest technical score and the lowest cost.

Democratic Wisconsin lawmakers have complained that Skyward's losing of the bid could result in a loss of jobs in the state.

The programs are used for staff, students and parents to check grades, attendance, food account balances, and calendars.

"We've got a lawyer working with us. But we're submitting it to the people we feel have done us and Wisconsin a major disservice," Skyward founder Jim King said.

Skyward said it will save the state more than two million dollars each year, but the state said infinite campus was a cheaper option.

"I would like to see the detail from the accounting firm that's saying their costs are less to back up their claims. Let's put it out into the open air and take a look," King said.

Both the Eau Claire and Altoona school districts use Skyward right now.
They said with no new contract in place, it's hard to tell which would have the best quality or savings.

"The cost of training is going to be what I think will be a burden on districts," Altoona Schools technology director Mark Scheppke said.

"Anytime someone goes through a change, it may raise some anxiety, but again, it's to be determined," Jim Schmitt said.

"Maybe (Skyward is) better in one particular area, and not so good in another, and Infinite Campus probably has its strengths and weaknesses as well," Scheppke said.

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