Side Menu Begins
Ohio Campaign LawsContact Ohio Elected OfficialsSample Letters & Talking PointsSchool Social Workers
Side Menu Ends, main content for this page begins

What are Financial Forecasts?

According to the Ohio Department of Education, “A forecast is somewhat like a painting of the future based upon a snapshot of today". That snapshot, however, will be adjusted and the further into the future the forecast extends, the more likely it is that the projections will deviate from actual experience. A variety of events will ultimately impact the latter years of the forecast, such as state budgets (adopted every two years), tax levies (new/renewal/replacement), salary increases, or businesses moving in or out of the district. The five-year forecast is viewed as a key management tool and must be updated periodically. In Ohio, most school districts understand how they will manage their finances in the current year. The five-year forecast encourages district management teams to examine future years’ projections and identify when challenges will arise. This then helps district management to be proactive in meeting those challenges.
“In a financial forecast, the numbers only tell a small part of the story. For the numbers to be meaningful, the reader must review and consider the Assumptions to the Financial Forecast before drawing conclusions or using the data as a basis for other calculations. The assumptions are very important to understanding the rationale of the numbers, particularly when a significant increase or decrease is reflected.”
Interested readers can find more information about five-year forecasts on the Ohio Department of Education’s website.

Purpose and Objectives of the Five-Year-Forecast

There are at least three purposes or objectives of the five-year forecast:

  • To engage the local board of education and the community in long-range planning and discussions of financial issues facing the school district
  • To identify future year’s deficit to allow district’s to engage in planning for those conditions prior to their arrival and eliminate projected deficits
  • To provide a method for the Department of Education and Auditor of State to identify school districts with potential financial problems


Ohio Revised Code 5705.391 and Ohio Administrative Code 3301-92-04 require a Board of Education (BOE) to submit a five-year projection of operational revenues and expenditures along with assumptions to the Department of Education prior to November 30th of each fiscal year and to update this forecast between April 1 and May 31 of each fiscal year. ODE encourages school districts to update their forecast whenever events take place that will significantly change the forecast.

Five Year Forecast

How to Read a Five Year Forecast

Fiscal Year '24

Fiscal Year '23

Fiscal Year '22

Fiscal Year '21

Fiscal Year '20

Fiscal Year '19