As required by Section 5705.391 of the Ohio Revised Code, every school district in the state of Ohio is required to file a five-year forecast twice a year. The first is due by October 31 and a revised forecast is due by May 30 of each school year. The forecast for Ridgewood Local School District reflects financial information for the District’s General Fund and the Education Stabilization Fund in fiscal year 2011 and in 2012 the Education Jobs Grant Fund. The first 3 columns reflect actual activity for the 3 most recent fiscal years (July 1 through June 30). The last 5 columns reflect estimates for the present fiscal year and four additional fiscal years.
The reader should remember that a forecast is somewhat like a painting of the future, which is based upon a snap shot of today that has been adjusted to reflect all known activities of the future along with certain assumptions and predictions of what may happen. In other words, it is a living document that becomes outdated once any additional information has come to light, which may introduce new events or changes in assumptions for the future. As such, the five-year forecast is a good planning tool at best and will change periodically as updated information becomes available.
The reader should also remember that the numbers themselves tell only a small part of the story in financial forecasting. For the numbers to be meaningful, the reader must review and consider the Forecast Assumptions before drawing conclusions or using the data as a basis of other calculations. In short, the Forecast Assumptions are crucial to understanding the meaning of the numbers contained in a financial forecast.
Since the preparation of a meaningful five-year forecast is as much of an art as it is a science, and considering all of the intricacies of the information being presented, it is recommended that you contact the Treasurer/CFO with your questions.