Infinite Campus’s civil suit against TIES closed

Staff Writer
Since 2013, I have primarily covered the Anoka-Hennepin and Spring Lake Park school districts as well as the city of Spring Lake Park for ABC Newspapers.

Technology and Information Educational Services, TIES, was granted summary judgement and had two counts dismissed with prejudice in Ramsey County District Court earlier this month.

Infinite Campus, a Blaine-based company providing K-12 student information systems services to school districts across the country, sued TIES, an independent school district in Minnesota and education technology collaborative with 48 member school districts, nearly two years ago.

Infinite Campus served a civil complaint against TIES and Mark Wolak, TIES executive director, Oct. 8, 2015, in Ramsey County District Court.

The complaint accused TIES of failing to follow the competitive bidding process required by law, among other missteps.

TIES entered into a contract with Edupoint, an Arizona-based company in the student information system services business in 2015 without putting the contract out for competitive bid.

If the amount of any contract is expected to exceed $100,000, bids should generally be solicited by Minnesota School Districts.

The contract between TIES and Edupoint well exceeds that figure, but TIES argued that the contract is not subject to the public bidding process.

Judge Shawn Bartsh found that the contract was “unambiguous”: Edupoint granted TIES license to use its student information system, but not ownership rights. Therefore, the contract does not fall unambiguously within public bidding laws.

“The plain language of the contract demonstrates that TIES is not purchasing property from Edupoint,” Bartsh wrote in an order granting the request from TIES for partial summary judgement. “Rather, it is a marketing/support agreement whereby the members of TIES may obtain a license to use the Edupoint SIS called Synergy.”

A marketing and service agreement does not fit neatly within the statute’s call for bids on labor or furniture, fixtures or other property.

Last year, information systems software was specifically excluded in state statute.

Because Bartsh found the contract to be unambiguous, no injuctive relief is necessary, he wrote.

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