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School software decision prompts new legislation

by
Skyward Software of Stevens Point
Infinite Campus logo
71st District Rep. Katrina Shankland (D) Stevens Point
Skyward Software of Stevens Point

MADISON, WI (WSAU) -  The recent state action choosing a single out-of-state software provider for school student information has prompted lawmakers to seek changes in the procurement process.

Assembly Bill 60 and it’s companion, Senate Bill 54 was introduced last week to seek a change from a single vendor system to a multi-vendor system where school districts could choose their software system as long as the data meets state guidelines. The bill was introduced by twelve Representatives and eight Senators, including seventeen Democrats and three Republicans.

One of the bill’s primary authors is freshman Democrat Katrina Shankland from Stevens Point. She says the bills had their initial reading last week, and were sent to committee. The Assembly sent it to the Committee on Government Operations and Licensing. The Senate has sent it to the Committee on Education. Shankland is concerned the Senate will not see action, saying chairman Luther Olsen is staunchly opposed to the bill and could bury it in committee without a hearing or a vote.

On February 1st, The Department of Public Instruction announced the selection of Infinite Campus from Blaine Minnesota as the state’s only provider for Student Information Software. Stevens Point based Skyward believes there are discrepancies in the bid scoring and have appealed the decision. Skyward is on record supporting a multi-vendor system allowing school districts to choose what is best for them.

So far, there’s no announcement from the Department of Public Instruction on Skyward’s appeal. If DPI upholds the original decision, Skyward can appeal to the Department of Administration. The issue could also end up in the courts.

Skyward is poised to add over 600 hi-tech jobs in the coming years, but may do so in another state if Wisconsin makes it illegal to do business in their own state under a single vendor contract with no expiration date.

Initial Supporters of AB60 and SB54:

Assembly:

Scott Krug, Nekoosa (R)

Peter Barca, Kenosha (D)

Penny Bernard Schaber, Appleton (D)

Nick Milroy, South Range (Superior) (D)

Dana Wachs, Eau Claire (D)

Stephen Smith, Shell Lake (D)

Tod Ohnstad, Kenosha (D)

Mandy Wright, Wausau (D)

Paul Tittle, Manitowoc (R)

Senate:

Julie Lassa, Stevens Point (D)

Chris Larson, Milwaukee (D)

Terry Moulton, Chippewa Falls (R)

Bob Jauch, Poplar (D)

Kathleen Vinehout, Alma (D)

Tim Carpenter, Milwaukee (D)

Dave Hansen, Green Bay (D)

Nikiya Harris, Milwaukee (D)

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