Dear Shoreham-Wading River Community,

As you may have already read in Newsday and the Times News Review, the New York State Comptroller’s Office released the results of their routine audit investigation. While we acknowledge the opinions of the Comptroller’s audit, they do not adequately reflect the budgeting realities for a school district. Nor does the audit take into account the history of our community and the devastating impact that unforeseen changes in the tax base can produce, such as the closing of the power plant or the recent loss this past year of a $1.7 million payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT). 

While not unique to our District, many outside factors can and do influence our budgeting process and the education of our students. As a result, the District budgets are developed to provide for contingencies. During our yearly budget process, the District holds multiple community forums and workshops. These meetings allow the District to publicly present the development of the budget to the members of our community and receive valuable feedback from them. We are very proud of our continued fiscal prudence and budget process. 

In reference to the tax levy, without the addition of the new bond payment, the levy for 2017-2018 would have been a decrease of 2.1 percent, or $1.1 million.

Despite the budgetary challenges faced yearly, the District continues to excel in academics, the arts and athletics. Due to our sound fiscal practices, our District has been able to:

  • Maintain and expand academic programming to include additional Advanced Placement programs, including the College Board’s prestigious AP Capstone Program, enhancements to our club offerings, additional support classes and technology programs. In fact, our high school has been recognized for excellence by New York State two years in a row. 
  • Continue to provide use of the athletic fields and buildings to residents.
  • Develop budgets that allow the tax levy to remain at or below the New York State tax cap since its implementation.  
  • ​​Achieve the highest bond rating in District history; Standard and Poor’s AA rating, which will allow for approximately $10 million worth of savings over the life of the bond payment.
  • Annually utilize available funds to help offset increases to the tax levy for the following year.

​​​The issue of school fund balances is a topic of many conversations within the educational community. In fact, the issue has been introduced as a bill in the New York State Legislature. It recognizes the unrealistic cap of 4 percent on fund balances and proposes an increase to 10 percent. We are optimistic that this legislation will become law so that all districts can better protect the programs they have in place for their students.

It is a priority of our school community and the Board of Education to protect, maintain and develop excellent programs and exceptional learning environments for our students. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Superintendent’s office at 631-821-8105.

To read the full copy of the Comptroller’s report, visit:

To view Standard and Poor’s recent financial rating of the District, visit:



Your Shoreham-Wading River Board of Education and
Gerard Poole, Superintendent of Schools