Riverhead and Shoreham-Wading River schools outline budget proposals

The 2024-25 budget season has commenced for the Riverhead Central School District and the Shoreham-Wading River School District.

Business officials at the respective districts have started laying out the details for the public through extensive presentations and will continue to hold open meetings to address any questions or concerns. 

Both annual budget votes are scheduled for Tuesday, May 21. Here is what the districts have proposed so far. 


The total proposed expenditure budget for the 2024-25 school year is roughly $201.5 million, an estimated $9.7 million increase from this year. This includes upticks in the district’s general support, instructional program, and transportation services. 

The expenditure budget falls within the property tax levy cap limitation of nearly 3.3%. 

At the last Board of Education meeting on March 5, Marianne Cartisano, the district’s acting assistant superintendent for business, explained that the property tax levy cap went into effect when the 2012-13 budget was developed. 

The school property tax levy represents the amount of money a school district needs to raise through property taxes to support the budget. Ms. Cartisano said the school board does not intend to exceed the tax cap. 

Additionally, the district is projected to receive more than $80 million in New York State aid for the 2024-25 fiscal school year — a roughly 4.1% increase from last year. The district also projected an additional $500,000 in aid from the state. 

As the district readies for the 2024-25 budget vote in May, Ms. Cartisano alerted Board of Education members about the “fiscal cliff” in funding they are likely to face — a challenge many school districts across Long Island are bracing for. 

With that in mind, she emphasized that the district’s expenditures can never exceed its revenues. 

“We needed to reverse engineer this budget,” Ms. Cartisano said at the March 5 meeting. “We needed to take what we could afford, how much we had to spend and how much cash we have available to pay our bills, which is our expenditure plan.” 

Budget presentations began March 5 and will continue into April. The next public budget meetings are scheduled for March 19, April 2 and April 16, all starting at 7 p.m. 

A public information meeting on the budget vote itself will be held May 14 at 7 p.m.

There are two open seats on the school board this year; however, candidates who are running have not yet been announced. 


The proposed 2024-25 budget for the Shoreham-Wading River school district is approximately $88.2 million, a 4% increase from the current budget. 

This estimated budget will allow the district to maintain its current class sizes and all school programs next year, as well as permit funding to replace nearly 60 interactive Smartboards and add new extracurricular clubs and high school courses. 

District officials included several maintenance projects planned within the 2024-25 budget, such as installing additional cameras districtwide and a concrete walkway along the middle school track. 

According to the district’s summary of its expenditures, there will be a nearly 3% increase in spending for employee salaries for all district staff and benefits. This is based on contractual obligations outlined within the district’s collective bargaining agreements that run through 2025-2026. 

Shoreham-Wading River school officials projected a 2.5% tax levy limit and stated they do not intend to piece the cap. 

Based on Gov. Kathy Hochul’s executive budget, the district forecasted $16.8 million in state aid — an approximately $45,000 raise from this year. However, this number could change once the state budget is adopted. 

The next budget meetings at Shoreham-Wading River High School library are scheduled for Tuesday, March 26, and April 2, both at 7 p.m. The district plans to adopt the budget on April 16 and hold a public hearing on May 7.