The Governor’s signature on the budget was a giant boost for Stevens Point-based Skyward, which has been battling against a single-vendor mandate for the Department of Public Instruction’s student information software system. Governor Walker signed the budget Sunday, leaving a provision intact that allows the company to again compete in Wisconsin, along with other vendors.
Skyward had originally lost its bid to provide the software for a Statewide Student Information System, which is used to track a wide range of student data. The company was already operating in several school districts around the state, but said it would move out of Wisconsin if the decision was not reversed. It also challenged to state’s decision to award the contract to Minnesota-based Infinite Campus, arguing that it scored better on many of the criteria used to evaluate the bids.
Skyward President Scott Glinski says their appeal to the Department of Administration is still active, but he’s glad the Legislature and Governor made changes in the state budget that allows a multi-vendor approach. Glinski says DOA officials have indicated they still plan to respond to their appeal.
For the last couple of years, Skyward’s plans to grow in Stevens Point have been on hold because of the uncertain future in this state. Glinski says Skyward has focused their growth in other areas, but being allowed to sell in Wisconsin will allow the company to move forward with plans to build up its facility in Stevens Point and start hiring.
AUDIO: Scott Glinski (:18)
Stevens Point Mayor Andrew Halverson is pleased with the state budget corrections favoring Skyward, but is concerned about how difficult it was to get Madison to correct the problem. Halverson said “I think is wonderful, but also a little concerning that it had to get to this level. I think it also reflects on some of the concerns that folks can be disconnected at times in Madison from general business and home-grown successes, (and) sometimes don’t see the real impact.”
Halverson says Skyward has expressed interest in acquiring property from the city in the past, and he looks forward to helping them again.
Larry Lee, WSAU