Superintendent Dr. Giarrizzo Presents the Initial 2018-19
Budget to the North Shore Schools Board of Education

The 2018-19 Proposal Represents a 1.89% Tax Levy Increase  Below the Maximum 2.24% Allowable NY State Cap Increase for the North Shore Schools

“The motto of the North Shore Schools is “Discovering Your Dreams,” and all that we do is crafted around enabling our students and staff to achieve our mission. Well-developed budgets tell stories and they need to reflect the values of the organization. Thus, the expense plan must adequately support student achievement, staffing to support programming, supplies, materials, and other resources so that teachers and students have the necessary tools to be successful.” – Superintendent Dr. Peter Giarrizzo

On February 8, 2018 at the Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Dr. Peter Giarrizzo presented the preliminary budget and narrative for the 2018-19 academic year resulting in a tax levy increase that is fully compliant with the tax cap legislation set forth in law while maintaining favorable class size, all general and special education programs, and all extracurricular and athletic programs for the North Shore Schools. The following summarizes the highlights of Dr. Giarrizzo’s presentation:

Preliminary 2018-19 Budget Numbers
Dr. Giarrizzo explained that the Preliminary 2018-19 proposal is $104,868,518.83, represents an increase of $2,755,003.97 from 2017-18 and a tax levy increase of 1.89%. The maximum allowable state tax cap for 2018-19 according to NY State law for the North Shore Schools is 2.24%.

An Investment in our Students, Schools, and Shared Values
Over the past several years, the North Shore Schools has worked hard to implement the Shared Valued Outcomes (SVOs). This work has strengthened the district’s approaches to learning and refined teaching practices. As a result, student achievement has been among the highest within the region, desirable class size has been preserved, and the North Shore Schools remain structured and supported with the necessary resources for children to excel academically, socially, creatively, and athletically. The 2018-19 budget will continue to support inquiry-based learning, collaboration, communication, innovation, problem solving, and the development of strong content knowledge.

2018-19 Budget Goals
A highly collaborative approach was taken to develop the budget with the following primary budget goals in mind:

  • Remain sensitive to the fiscal pressures faced by the North Shore community
  • Address all instructional program needs for our students in line with our Shared Valued Outcomes (SVOs) and future opportunities while also advancing efforts in the areas of social emotional learning and wellness
  • Stay at or below the New York State tax cap
  • Comply with all NY State and federal mandates
  • Continue to upgrade North Shore’s technology infrastructure
  • Maintain plant and facilities to provide a safe and healthy learning environment

Drivers of the 2018-19 Operating Budget
There are many factors that influence the development of the operating budget (most are out of the control of the school district). The primary drivers include:

  • Salaries (56.48%) and Health Insurance Benefits (25.01%) comprise 81.49% of the budget. The primary budget driver was a $1,558,831.82 contractual increase in salaries for all employees
  • Increase in required district contribution to NYS Teachers’ Retirement System, representing an increase of $1,118,543.30 or 10.63% of 2018-19 member payroll
  • Increased enrollment in Reading and World Language programs
  • Tuition and transportation expenses for students residing in St. Christopher Ottilie’s Group Home (the district will be reimbursed)
  • Ongoing Technology upgrades
  • On the revenue side, the projected State Aid did not increase as reflected in the Governor’s

Executive Budget (January 2018), but it decreased by $107,253.00 to a projected $5,070,254.00 for the North Shore School District

Dr. Giarrizzo said, “Although the preliminary budget reflects almost $450,000 in staffing cuts, there are contingency measures built in. We have the resources to support additional sections if enrollment spikes.”

Consistent Use of Reserves/Fund Balance to Offset Expenses
This preliminary budget acknowledges the consistent use of reserves/fund balance to offset the expenses that drive the tax levy. A primary goal is to continue to utilize these revenues to offset expenses:

  • $1,200,000.00 appropriated fund balance
  • $2,350,00.00 of the school district’s reserves
    • $1,200,000.00 from the Employee Retirement System (ERS) Reserve
    • $350,000.00 from the former Tax Certiorari Reserve
    • $800,000.000 from Senator Marcellino and Assemblyman Lavine’s grant

Dr. Giarrizzo said, “The district plans to allocate the remaining funds from the Marcellino/Lavine grant and North Shore tax certiorari reserves using a ‘melting ice cube approach’ in order to maintain the fiscal resources for an extended period of time.”

Class Size, Academic & Athletic Programs Will Remain in Place
Dr. Giarrizzo stated, “North Shore remains a community that enjoys a strong housing market that is primarily attributable to the strength of our schools. I am pleased to report that favorable and equitable class sizes will be maintained across the three elementary schools, and will be carefully monitored until school opens in September. All existing academic and athletic programs will remain in place. Additionally, at the high school level, the International Baccalaureate Programme (IB) will serve as the key framework to direct professional development, instructional program, assessment practices, and supervision in grades 9-12. This in combination with a strong program in Advanced Placement (AP) enables all students to achieve at high levels.”  He added, “As we move forward, the spending plan will enable us to begin implementing a Five-Year Strategic Plan as well as building structure to maintain our facilities and the learning needs of our students within the 21st Century.”

To see Dr. Giarrizzo’s complete 2018-19 initial budget presentation and comprehensive budget book/narrative, please visit under the Budget/Financial Information section on the homepage. Also, the Board video (2/8/18) will be available in the BOE section.

North Shore residents have always valued quality education and our Trustees and Administration remain committed to that goal. During the next few months, the Board of Education will navigate us through the line-by-line budget process. Please join us at upcoming BOE meetings on the following dates in the High School Library at 7:30 p.m. (unless noted otherwise): 3/1 (Budget Review), 3/15 (Budget Review), and 3/29 (Budget Adoption). Meet the Candidates Night is Wednesday, May 2, in the HS Library at 8 PM. The BOE/Town Meeting/Budget Reading is on Thursday, May 3. The Budget/Election of Trustees is on Tuesday, 5/15, in the North Shore High School Gym from 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.
We encourage you to stay informed about the school budget for our students, schools, and our community. If you are a resident and would like to receive emails from the North Shore Schools, please subscribe at the top of the school website at If you have questions, please contact

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