In order to gain a better understanding of the financial condition of the District's General Fund (or general operating funds), one ought to review the District's most recent Five Year Forecast. Not only is the Five Year Forecast a tool that provides a lot of useful financial information, is also serves as a guide in the District's decision-making process. The structure of the Five Year Forecast includes a history of revenues and expenditures from the prior three fiscal years, as well as a projection for the current fiscal year and the following four fiscal years. (Note that a fiscal year is from July 1st to June 30th.)
When viewing the Five Year Forecast, it is important to know that the information presented is based upon a "snapshot" in time, given the information known at that specific time. As time goes by, additional information becomes available and essentially renders the Five Year Forecast as outdated. Furthermore, the Five Year Forecast can be considered a good planning tool that changes periodically once new or updated information is known.
Given the fact that the "snapshot" of financial information often changes, it is crucial for viewers to read what is included in the assumptions. The assumptions of the Five Year Forecast provide meaning and reflect the rationale behind the numbers. These should be considered prior to drawing conclusions or using the data as a basis of other calculations.
The Five Year Forecast is updated each October and May, as required by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). To read some of ODE's insight regarding a typical Five Year Forecast, "How to Read a Five Year Forecast"
is a valuable resource that offers tips and explanations on how to best understand such a document.
If, for any reason, the link above does not populate the Five Year Forecast or if other technical difficulties occur, another alternative would be to click "here*
and do the following:
Click on the link "Find Forecast by District Name"
Type in "Otsego"
Click the "Generate Forecast" button
Read the provided note and click the "Generate Forecast" button again
Please be sure to view the written assumptions that follow the Five Year Forecast, as these assumptions are pertinent to the full understanding of what is included in the forecast.
*This external site was developed as part of a joint project between the Ohio Department of Education's (ODE) Center for School Finance and Accountability, the Ohio Association of School Business Officials (OASBO), and the State Software Development Team (SSDT).