Williston School Board responds to call for external audit

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Williston Basin School District #7’s board members are now responding to concerns raised by some constituents regarding the district’s creation.

Hundreds of Williston residents have signed a paper petition to have the state auditor look into the school board’s finances. They want to know how funds are being used in the creation of the new school district.

Right now, two third-party firms are auditing Districts 1 and 8 before and after the merger.

Voters choose to merge the two districts last December to form what is now the consolidated District 7. The board says funding questions will be resolved when the audit is complete and that it is premature to invite the state auditor.

“I have the utmost confidence that they are going to provide a very comprehensive and unbiased audit report. At this point in time, I think it is appropriate to let the professionals do the job that they’ve been hired to do,” said Board President Chris Jundt.

The audit reports will be available by the first quarter of next year.

Jundt says if there are still unanswered questions after these audit reviews, then further action may be taken.
He says the board is just as concerned about the financial discrepancy as the group that spearheaded the petition for audit.

“I will just ask for a little bit of patience. I know that’s hard for the board sometimes, hard for the public, certainly we’re trying to get the answers as quickly as we can but we also want the information that’s communicated to the public to be verifiable and accurate,” said Jundt.

So far, the petition has about 300 signatures. They need at least 500 more to formally present the petition.

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