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Gov. Walker supports two vendor student database system

RHINELANDER, WI (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker did not want a Stevens Point company to leave Wisconsin – and that’s why he agreed to let two firms instead of one provide a new statewide database of school students.

In Rhinelander Tuesday, Walker blamed the state Department of Public Instruction for the previous single vendor system, in which Skyward of Stevens Point was shut out by Infinite Campus of Minnesota.

Both firms currently provide databases for local school systems. Had Skyward not won an appeal it filed, the homegrown Point firm said it would have had to leave Wisconsin, and take hundreds of jobs away.

The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee nullified the single-bid structure and Skyward’s appeal last month, by approving two vendors – thus keeping Skyward in the game.

State Superintendent Tony Evers recently said a single vendor would have been easier for his agency to manage.

The Republican Walker disagreed Tuesday, saying multiple vendors would be fine as long as they collect the same data. He has not said very much about the issue until now.

Skyward first struck a nerve in the administration a year ago, when we learned that the state offered tax credits to the company if it won the database contract. That and other controversies led to the resignation of the Economic Development Corporation’s first director, Paul Jadin.