Lassa, Shankland Deliver Skyward Petition
Left, State Senator Julie Lassa and Assemblywoman Katrina Shankland delivered a petition to the Department of Administration on Wednesday. (facebook.com)
More than 4,000 Call for Governor, DOA to Reconsider Software Contract
By Donnelly Clare
Two Stevens Point natives have delivered a petition protesting the single- vendor option to state education department officials.
State Senator Julie Lassa and State Representative Katrina Shankland, both of Stevens Point, sent the petition to Governor Walker, DOA Secretary Michael Huebsch, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers today. The petition contained over 4,000 signatures from residents.
The petition asks Governor Scott Walker and other state officials to reconsider a decision to deny Skyward from selling its software used for student information systems (SIS) to Wisconsin schools.
“People are angry. We are desperately hurting for jobs, and our state government is telling a successful Wisconsin company that wants to create hundreds of good-paying jobs that it can’t do business here,” Sen. Lassa said. “At the same time, we’re saddling schools with the expense and chaos of abandoning software systems that are working well for them and complying with a state-mandated monopoly.”
Shankland added the decision took jobs from the community and accountability from elected leaders.
“The integrity of our democracy depends on the voices of the people, and today over 4,000 Skyward supporters made their voices heard. The state should consider Central Wisconsin jobs and protect the interests of our taxpayers and public schools. Government should be accountable to its citizens and Central Wisconsin deserves to be heard,” Shankland said.
The petition signatures were collected on line by Watertown resident Paul Zdroik using the Change.org website. Many of the signers are from Central Wisconsin, but signatures also came from Madison, West Allis, Eau Claire and Janesville.
In January, the DOA announced the state’s SIS contract would be awarded to Minnesota- based Infinite Campus rather than Skyward, which already serves half the schools in Wisconsin with its software. The decision came after officials from the Department of Public Instruction opted for a single vendor for the entire state, rather than multi-vendor options or permitting districts to choose their own contractors.
Skyward CEO Cliff King has said it will move its headquarters from Stevens Point and relocate to another state if the decision isn’t reversed. Skyward currently employs nearly 300 people locally.
Lassa and Shankland have since introduced a bill that would permit schools to select SIS software from multiple vendors. That legislation has yet to be debated in the capital.