School administrators may be feeling less panic about the fate of their spending plans this year as voters head to the polls for the annual school board and budget votes.
The usual flashpoints — new, expensive mandates, wildly rising insurance and retirement costs and state aid cuts — have been minimal heading toward the 2014-15 school year. The governor, in an election year, has promised rebate checks to homeowners if schools stay within the tax cap and has given schools more aid. The economy appears to be stabilized.
"Most years, you can get a sense from telephone calls, from board meetings, what people are concerned with," said Pearl River Director of Operations Quinton Van Wynan. "This year, it's been very, very quiet. We're below the cap, we actually have a tax decrease because of our (changing) assessments, and we didn't cut any people or programs."