Five-year forecasts are living documents that are used as planning tools for school districts and communities.

They are a five-year projection of operational revenues and expenditures that are based upon a snapshot of today adjusted to reflect all known activities of the future, along with certain assumptions and predictions of what might happen.

State law requires a school board to submit a five-year projection of operational revenues and expenditures, along with assumptions used to make the projections, to the Ohio Department of Education before Oct. 31 each year. This date will change to Nov. 30 beginning 2019.

School districts are also required to update this forecast between April 1 and May 31 of each year. The ODE also encourages school districts to update their forecast whenever events take place that will significantly change it.

What does this mean to our community?

The five-year forecast is your way of knowing in a very transparent, higher-level way how the district spends the money received from all general revenue sources.

It is a tool for the community to understand the percentage of dollars invested that go to salaries and benefits, supplies, utilities and facilities.

The New Albany-Plain Local School District is 85 percent locally funded; which means the revenue source mostly is from residential and business property taxes from within district boundaries. The remaining 15 percent is from state and federal funding.

What does the forecast say about our district?

As required, the New Albany-Plain Local school board approved the district's five-year forecast Oct. 22. The October forecast includes $63.2 million in revenue and projected district general-fund expenditures of $63.7 million. The district begins to spend more than it brings in on an annual basis beginning in the current fiscal year.

The administration continues to search for additional cost savings to eliminate the deficit spending that is forecasted. Based on the projections in the five-year forecast, we have a positive ending cash balance for each of the next five years, a balance that the board and administration continue to strengthen and safeguard for our taxpayers.

The school board was able to approve a general-fund transfer of $6 million to the permanent-improvements fund in 2018 based on an increase in revenue and reductions in expenses from the 2018 school year budget.

The administration achieved its financial goal of eliminating $609,000 in last year's budget through compounding cost reductions.

Again this year, the school board approved the financial goal of reducing the current year's budget by $627,000.

The board and administration are committed to maximizing our resources to meet the academic and developmental needs of our students without additional general-fund resources from our taxpayers for several more years.

You can take a deeper dive into our five-year forecast and view the district's comprehensive annual financial report and other documents at napls.us, under the "Our District" and "Treasurer" sections.

If any parent/guardian or community member has any questions related to the financial health of the school district, please contact any school board member or the administrative offices directly. The district office phone number is 614-855-2040.

Rebecca Jenkins is the treasurer and chief financial officer for the New Albany-Plain Local School District.