Lakota's Financial Health: Short and Long-Term
Annually, in October and May, the District is required to file a five year forecast with the Ohio Department of Education. This forecast includes three years of history (actual data) and five years of projections. Projections are based on assumptions known at that moment in time and present a snapshot financial report.
The five year forecast is utilized by the administration and Board of Education as a management tool for short and long-term planning. For example, the spending deficit predicted in 2023 is five (5) years away; a spending deficit occurs when expenditures exceed revenue. This report gives us advance warning of financial challenges so that we can impact the future in the short-term. As we all know, things that we predict or anticipate to happen in 2023 may or may not occur. But, we must make reasonable assumptions and plan for the future.
The financial stability of the District has drastically improved through a combination of $20 million in expenditure reductions and the passage of the combination operating and permanent improvement levy in November 2013. We operate on a balanced budget and our cash balances are increasing. Cost containment practices which were implemented during our expenditure reduction phase will remain in place. We assess and prioritize needs and are always looking for ways to reallocate our resources instead of increasing costs.
Our levy request was strategic and targeted. The implementation phase is occurring and we are following through on our commitments.