North Carolina's State Superintendent has made an "emergency purchase" which will allow the continued use of the e-learning program Istation. This comes as a legal battle continues over the reading tests given to children in kindergarten through grade three.

Superintendent Mark Johnson says his department needed to make the nearly $928,000 purchase in order to ensure continued compliance with the state's Read To Achieve legislation.

Johnson sent an email to school districts saying he had to act now for the benefit of schools currently conducting their assessments.

The News & Observer reports that not all state board members support the emergency contract, which runs through the end of March. Some criticized the amount of money spent and complained they didn't have a role in the emergency procurement.

The decision to award the Read To Achieve testing contract to Istation has been controversial, with many teachers questioning the choice. The company's agreement with the state Department of Information Technology has been on hold since August pending an administrative review.

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