Interim Glacier County Treasurer Don Wilson and all three County Commissioners have been receiving weekly emails from the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) requesting “required reports” which were due Sept. 15. As of press time, Kara Sperle, who is the School Finance Administrator for OPI, had not received any response from Glacier County officials.
Sperle first emailed Wilson and Glacier County Commissioners Michael DesRosier, Tom McKay and Ron Rides At the Door on Sept. 14. When she did not receive a response, she emailed them again on Sept. 20 and then again on Sept. 24.
Sperle provided the emails to the Cut Bank Pioneer Press after receiving a Freedom of Information request for copies of correspondence with Glacier County officials.
In her email, dated 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 24, Sperle informed the County Commissioners and Wilson she had yet to “receive the requested reports in full…I need July 2017 through August 2018.”
Sperle reiterated, “School districts are not receiving copies of the financial reports as required by law.”
Her email continued (in bold and underlined), “I specifically need copies of Cut Bank School District as a priority. In addition, I would like to know if the treasurer’s office was able to complete the requested adjustments for Browning School District.”
Sperle reminded Glacier County officials, “I requested the copies of reports on September 14th, and it is now September 24th, and not only have the school districts not received the reports required to close their books, but I have also not received the copies requested as allowed by law. Please send the reports requested ASAP. Again, the deadline to have the submission of information to OPI was September 15th (bolded and underlined).”
Sperle pointed out, “Without the required financial data, which can only be obtained from the county, the school districts are unable to meet the statutory obligation.”
Sperle also requested to be placed on the County Commissioners’ Oct. 4 meeting agenda. “If there is some assistance OPI can provide to fulfill my request with urgency and meeting the needs of the school districts, please do let me know,” she wrote. “Again, please prioritize my request and send Cut Bank School District reports ASAP.”