Thu March 21, 2013
Pridemore At Skyward Rally Lambasts New Single-Vendor Policy
State School Superintendent candidate Don Pridemore attended a rally last night for the embattled central Wisconsin software company Skyward, which is now asking the Governor to weigh in on the company's loss of a state contract .
Don Pridemore was asked to speak at the rally by Skyward executives, who say they will move their company headquarters out of Wisconsin if the state does not reverse a new policy that forces every school district to buy the same student information software. The contract was awarded to an out-of-state company, Infinite Campus, even though Skyward now serves more than half of Wisconsin's districts.
Pridemore said he opposes having just one software vendor, because as a conservative Republican he thinks monopolies are bad and local control is good.
“What we're talking about here is Wisconsin jobs. We're talking about a company that's a leader in the industry. We're talking about school districts that have already invested in this product. And why you would want to create a monopoly in the first place? Monopolies are bad; I don't care where they are.”
The single-vendor policy is supposed to make it easier to compare student achievement levels. It had the support of both Governor Walker and Pridemore's opponent in the April 2 election, current State Superintendent Tony Evers. Pridemore said the Governor should reconsider.
“I think the Governor should certainly evaluate the situation right now and make a good sound judgment. We are talking about a Wisconsin company with a lot of jobs. And the Governor's very, very concerned about jobs in the state of Wisconsin, and he doesn't want to see jobs disappear.”
Don Pridemore said as a state representative, he will consider supporting a bipartisan bill that would end the single-vendor system.