September 1, 2014

DPI rejects protest from Skyward

Officials with the Department of Public Instruction have denied a review of the bidding process for a statewide computer system for schools.

That request was made by Skyward of Stevens Point, after the state went with a Minnesota contractor for the program. In a letter sent to the company Thursday, the DPI said that a three person panel reviewed the protest from Skyward and found it “without merit.”

Skyward vice president of marketing Ray Ackerland says the department’s response is lacking, arguing “they still failed to provide us any real information on how their calculation process works to justify the cost calculation process they came up with.”

Skyward claims that a program and bid offered by Infinite Campus of Minnesota would cost school districts significantly more than they claim and that the DPI did not fairly review Skyward’s bid. The company has argued that it has a more established presence in the state, with operations in about 45 percent of Wisconsin school districts, which will end up costing local districts more money when they have to convert to a new system.

AUDIO: Ray Ackerland (:10)

Skyward will now have 5 days to appeal the decision to the Department of Administration. Ackerland says they are going over information they have received from DPI, but they do intend to file a challenge.

Officials from the Department of Public Instruction declined further comment.

Raymond Neupert, WSAU