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The Arizona Department of Education is getting a $5 million federal grant to fix what the state’s school superintendent calls an unreliable and failing IT system.

“I found out that our computer system was a mutant organism, it had been patch upon patch, millions of lines of chaotic code,” said John Huppenthal, Arizona’s superintendent of public instruction.

The grant, together with money set aside by the state’s legislature, will help the Arizona Department of Education improve a data system that holds data from the academic history of hundreds of thousands of students.

“This funding will provide one more piece of the puzzle in our ultimate goal of an integrated data system that serves the needs of administrators, teachers, parents and students long into the future,” Huppenthal said.

The grant will be distributed statewide, he said.