At your service...

Contact us via email or call us in-state toll-free between 9:00am and 5:00pm MT at 1.888.231.9393, Local 406.444.3095

Have a Media Inquiry? Contact Allyson Hagen at or

  • 406-444-3160
  • 406-437-3357 (cell)



OPI Internet Services - 444.1626


Finance & Grants:
School Finance

The School Finance and Pupil Transportation Division assists school districts with all areas of school funding.


To Complete MAEFAIRS Reporting

About Montana School Finance

  • State Distributions to Schools - administers the distribution of $763 million of state equalization aid including funding for Special Education,school facilities payments, and guaranteed tax base aid (GTB) to Montana school districts
  • Accounting and Financial Reporting - develops accounting policies for Montana's school districts in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Provides guidance to districts for the management of fiscal information through the School Accounting Manual
  • Budgeting - provides technical assistance and monitoring school district compliance with school budget laws
  • Training and Technical Assistance - provides school district personnel, county treasurers, and county superintendents of schools with technical accounting, budgeting and reporting assistance/training
  • Legislative and Federal Fiscal Reporting - compiles and reports school district financial information to the Legislature, Federal government and public
  • Audit Monitoring - monitors and reports school district compliance with the OMB Circular A-133 (the "Single Audit Act") and state auditing requirements
  • Federal Impact Aid Program Liaison - serves as a liaison with the US Department of Education for the Federal Impact Aid Program, which provides approximately $38 M annually to eligible Montana school districts
  • Enrollment - collects school district enrollment data used for state funding and Federal reporting.
  • Tuition - calculates maximum tuition rates for public school districts
  • MAEFAIRS - maintains an electronic financial reporting system for collecting school budgeting, expenditure, revenue and enrollment information
  • Pupil Transportation - provides distribution of state transportation aid and technical assistance in the areas of school bus equipment and operation standards and interpretation of school bus rules, regulations and laws.





Audit Requirements for Schools

9-0300.00 Single Audit Act -- OMB Circular A-133
9-0300.10 Introduction
Most school districts receiving Federal assistance shall have financial and compliance audits on an annual basis. The Single Audit Act (OMB Circular A-133) provides for a uniform approach to the audit of all federal aid programs by establishing policies, procedures and guidelines. The single audits under the law must be performed using generally accepted government auditing standards by independent auditors using due professional care and accountability.

9-0300.20 Features
For years beginning FY04, The Single Audit Act requires that:

  1. School districts that spend more than $500,000 per year in Federal financial assistance must have annual financial and compliance audits unless they perform such examinations on a biennial basi as required under State or local law; they may then continue that schedule.
  2. School districts that spend less than $500,000 of Federal financial assistance per year are not required by Federal regulations to have audits performed under a Federal requirement but are expected to retain accounting records so that Federal auditors can conduct audits if warranted.

9-0300.30 Montana Audit requirements
Montana's audit requirements meet the requirements of the Single Audit Act.

Who is required to have an audit? Beginning with audits of FY2008 , each district with over $500,000 of total revenues (all funds)

9-0300.40 Audit Requirements Matrix
Who is required to have an Audit: in a year is required to have an audit.

For those elementary and high school districts which are audited together, the revenues of both districts are combined to apply the criteria.

A district that spends $500,000 or more of Federal financial assistance must have a single audit.

Districts with less than $500,000 total revenue will have a review (not audit) approximately every four years as requested by OPI and the Department of Administration. [Section 2-7-503,MCA, 2007 Amendment]

Audit Process

Federal Expenditures (Including USDA Commodities): Total Revenues (All Funds): Type of Audit or Review Required: Comments:
N/A $500,000 or less* Review contracted auditor.
Due June 30
By Dept of Administration on a one year at a time, rotating 4-year schedule. OPI or Dept of Administration will notify. Basically review of procedures, especially for revenues and expenditures.
More than $500,000 Regular Audit - Also known as "Yellowbook Audit"
Due June 30
By contracted auditor (Dept of Administration has standard contracts and a roster of authorized auditors - see Above)

Usually one year. May be for two years, if approved by Dept of Administration.

$500,000 or more Single Audit - Also known as "Federal Audit" or "A-133 Audit"
Due March 31
By contracted auditor (Dept of Administration has standard contracts and a roster of authorized auditors - see Above)

Usually one year. May be for two years, if approved by Dept of Administration.

Regular audit, plus some additional procedures to review and report on federal programs.

* To estimate, sum all revenues in all funds except bond proceeds and transfers (Rev. code 5100, 5300, 9710).

Please call Steve Hamel at 444.0783 if you have questions about audits.


Student Count for ANB Reports



Budgets and Data Sheets


Preliminary Data Sheets

Budgeting Spreadsheets/Worksheets

2014-15 General Fund Budget Overview and Worksheets

NOTE: The following spreadsheet is protected to avoid accidental loss of formulas; however, no password was applied and you can unprotect it if you wish.

Disclaimer: OPI has tested the attached spreadsheet; however, due to programming changes each year, the spreadsheet may contain errors. Please use with caution and notify us immediately if you find discrepancies. This spreadsheet will be re-posted as corrections of errors are discovered by OPI or district personnel and when FY12 data becomes available.


2014-15 General Fund Budget and Voting Limits

Elementary, High School, or K-12 General Fund Budget Spreadsheets

In-District Special Education Permissive Levy Calculator

Preliminary Budget /TFS Worksheet
Projecting General Fund Reserves Spreadsheet (Right-Click and select the "Save Target As ..." command to save to your computer)
Technology Fund Levy Spreadsheet (Right-Click and select the "Save Target As ..." command to save to your computer)
Transportation Budgeting Spreadsheet (Right-Click and select the "Save Target As ..." command to save to your computer)


School Elections

2015 Election Calendar

2015 Mail Ballot Election Dates

2015 Election Manual

Quick Reference Guide: County District Classification Collection

County - District Classification

Montana school elections are conducted in the same manner as general elections (Title 13), with the exception of special provisions in Title 20.  The Office of Public Instruction has the authority to make rules and generate forms to assist districts with the administration of school elections.

The date for annual school elections is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in May.  Districts may also hold special elections in accordance with 20-20-105, MCA.  District elections are conducted by the district clerk, unless the district specifically requests their elections to be conducted by the county election administrator.  This request must be made annually.

School district trustees are elected for a term of three years.  A term may be shorter if a current term has been vacated.  In that case, a trustee is elected to serve the remainder of that term (either 1 or 2 years).
Other issues that may be considered in school elections include: requests for a general fund levy, technology fund levy, building reserve levy, bonds, or district annexation or consolidation.

The forms and instructions included in this section have been specifically adapted for use in Montana school elections.



Montana Association of School Business Officials (MASBO
Denise Ulberg – Executive Director
208 North Montana Avenue
Helena, MT  59601

MASBO Election Committee

  • Committee Chair: 
    Gwyn Andersen – Clerk/Business Manager, Kalispell Public Schools
    233 First Avenue East
    Kalispell, MT  59901
  • Committee Members:
    Betty Brumwell – Clerk/Business Manager, Dutton/Brady K-12 Public Schools
    101 2nd Street NE
    Dutton, MT  59433
  • Afton Lamoreaux – Clerk/Business Manager, Conrad Public Schools
    215 South Maryland 200
    Conrad, MT  59425

Montana Secretary of State's Office

Alan Miller – Elections Specialist, Secretary of State’s Office
PO Box 202801
Helena, MT  59620


Recent Secretary of State Publications:
Unity 3400 Examination Report

Montana School Boards Association (MTSBA)

Bob Vogel – Director of Governmental Relations
863 Great Northern Blvd
Helena, MT  59601


Entitlement Payments to Schools

Privacy, Security, Notices - Disclaimer of Endorsement
The documents posted on this site contain hypertext links or pointers to information created and maintained by other public and private organzations. These links and pointers are provided for the user's convenience. The Office of Public Instruction does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this outside information. Further, the inclusion of links or pointers to particular items in hypertext is not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed, or products or services offered, on these outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring the sites.

School Finance Newsletters