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Bond committee OKs more millions to repair LA Unified’s MiSiS

Vanessa Romo | May 29, 2015

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Misis LogoAfter a year of emergency fixes that required emergency spending, LA Unified officials say they need another $79.6 million to fully repair the computerized student data management system known as MISIS by the end of next year.

The request was approved unanimously by the Bond Oversight Committee yesterday. It will move to the school board for a vote next month.

If passed, it will bring the total MISIS tab to $133 million, a figure that includes the original $29 million budget the district once believed it would cost to build a perfectly functioning integrative software program. It also covers an extra $3 million to buy new computers for schools whose hardware was too outdated to run the new MISIS program.

Diane Pappas, who was appointed by Superintendent Ramon Cortines last October to lead the MiSiS improvement effort, made a pitch to the BOC, providing details of the yearlong plan to improve the system. Over the next year, she said, the team plans to correct problems with enrollment, scheduling, attendance and other areas critical to operate schools and educate students. The interface will be made more user friendly and additional updates would improve speed and reliability, she said.

The money to cover the costs will be drawn from the “unallocated funds” category in the School Upgrade Program.

The district has also restructured its contract with Microsoft Corp., according to Shannon Haber, a spokesperson for the district. The new deal delays full payment “until functions are working at schools.”

“As part of its assurance to the District, Microsoft has committed to keeping highly qualified personnel on the project, and will bring in additional resources from around the world as needed to foster continued improvement,” Haber wrote in a statement.

But this is not the end of MISIS spending. Documents submitted to the BOC explain, “As the MISIS system becomes operational, an additional allocation of ongoing general fund (money) will be needed starting in 2016-17 for staff to maintain and update MISIS to meet school needs.”

Just how much has yet to be determined.

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