Truth be told, I bet there are similar arrangements in many other state capitals as well as at the USDOE in Washington D.C.
Alas, I cannot do much about the other states or the USDOE in Washington, but I sure can raise hell in NY State.
It is outrageous that the Gates Foundation and other corporate entities have their own people in the state bureaucracy running the government.
But it is even more outrageous that it is the Regents chancellor, Merryl Tisch, who used her own money to start the private hiring and lead the charge to the privatization of the state education department:
The fellows program grew out of former Education Commissioner David Steiner's 2010 decision to use an existing charitable group to give birth to a research arm of his bureaucracy. At the time, the department was being challenged by Washington to improve school results and by Albany to do more with less. Confronted by the department's loss of staff through cuts and early-retirement incentives and federal pressure to adopt reforms under the Race to the Top initiative, Steiner, his then-deputy King and Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch tried something different: They leveraged private donations, starting with $1 million from the private foundation established by Tisch and her husband, Loews Corp. CEO James Tisch, to infuse the Regents Research Fund with dollars to hire education consultants.
What was envisioned as a short-term, relatively small augmentation to SED staff has grown exponentially. Fellows operate independently and communicate regularly with King and many interact regularly with state workers, but are not bound by Public Officer's Law or ethics rules imposed on government officials.
Tisch has engineered a coup to hand over the reins of power to the functionaries of her fellow plutocrats and corporate cronies, and with the apparent acquiescence of Governor Cuomo, has shifted the policy-making into the hands of private interests.
Tisch must be forced to resign her post as Regents Chancellor immediately and Governor Cuomo must be called to account for this coup d'etat at the NYSED.
Tisch must take her NYSED Commissioner King with her, since his fingerprints are on this criminal enterprise as well.