UPDATE Skyward vows "legal options" too - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Skyward vows "legal options" too

Posted:
STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -

STEVENS POINT (WAOW) - One day after losing an administrative appeal on the awarding of a $15 million contract to run a student information system in the state's schools, Skyward Inc. vowed Friday to "exercise all possible legal options" if necessary to fix what it called an unfair bid process.

The state Department of Public Instruction on Thursday rejected Skyward's protest that the contract was improperly awarded to Minnesota's Infinite Campus.

Skyward said Friday it will now appeal to the state Department of Administration, seeking an "impartial evaluation" of the decision.

"Skyward stands behind its previous statements that the evaluation was a flawed and unfair process," the company said in a statement. "If necessary following the appeal, Skyward will exercise all possible legal options."

The statement did not elaborate on those options.

Skyward filed the protest in February arguing that the process awarding the bid to Infinite Campus was unfair.

But the DPI said Thursday that it had completed its review and found the protest lacked merit and no law was violated. Former state Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske also reviewed the process and found no problems.

The contract could be worth as much as $80 million over the next decade. Skyward had asked that either it be awarded the contract or that all bids be thrown out.

Skyward argued its proposal was "conservatively" $14.5 million less than Infinite Campus' bid over the 10-year term of the contract.

Newsline 9 has a reporter following the story and will have the latest at 5 and 6 tonight.

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A big decision on Thursday, regarding a multi-million dollar education contract.

The state has rejected a protest from a Stevens Point company over that contract. Skyward filed that protest in February.

The company had bid on a multi-million dollar education contract to provide software to Wisconsin schools. The state ended up awarding it to a Minnesota company, and Skyward officials said the process wasn't fair.

That's why Skyward officials say they filed a protest against the decision, but Thursday the Department of Public Instruction announced it has rejected that protest.

The department released a statement saying, "as we expect the matter to continue with an appeal, we will not be issuing further comments at this time."

In the rejection letter to Skyward, the state said the original process was fair and reasonable, but Skyward officials are not happy.

"We were disappointed. I wouldn't say surprised, it was expected that they were going to come back and decline our appeal, what we felt going into this," said Skyward CEO Cliff King.

Newsline 9 did reach out to officials at the Minnesota company, Infinite Campus, that won the contract. Our calls were not returned.          

The state said Skyward has five days to appeal this latest decision. King tells Newsline 9 he plans to do just that.

King said the company could leave the state if they don't end up getting the contract.

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