Williston Basin School District responds to State Audit
BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The financial uncertainty of the Williston Basin School District led some to start a petition to have the state auditor investigate its books.
On Monday, State Auditor Josh Gallion announced the department received the petition and would start the process.
The Williston Basin School District will now be audited by the State Auditor’s office after 988 signatures were received for the review.
“We’ll cooperate and do what we are asked to,” said Chris Jundt, board president.
Jundt said the district was working with Widmer Roel for an audit of the 2020-21 school year, which would not be completed until the spring. Now with the auditor’s office taking control, it’s uncertain when that report will be completed.
“We’re doing our best to get to the bottom of the answers. The board, as well as the administration, wants to get to the most accurate numbers as we can,” said Jundt.
The primary focus of the audit will lie in the Williston Public Schools District #1. Initial records showed discrepancies of about $2 million when they merged with Williams County School District #8 last year.
Last month, Business Manager Sherri Heser said most of that total has been resolved due to very late revenue coming in after the reorganization. Still, petition organizers believe that’s cause for a more in-depth look.
“There were so many questions and things that were brought up that were not being addressed and we don’t understand why, and they still haven’t answered why,” said Dawn Hollingsworth, petitioner.
Hollingsworth said they have not heard any response from the district to their questions while Jundt and Heser argue that they have not heard anything from her or any other petitioner. Both sides are looking for answers, and now it will be up to Gallion’s office to deliver answers.
There has been no word on when the report will be completed, the scope of the investigation, or the cost to the district.
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