Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos signaled he would be supportive of granting Gov. Andrew Cuomo more authority over the state’s education policy making.
In an interview with Time Warner Cable News and NY1, Skelos said he backed the idea of changing the process through which the Board of Regents is appointed — essentially controlled by the Democratic-led Assembly.
“We’ve passed legislation a number of times, I believe it was Senator LaValle’s bills that would change the way Regents were selected,” Skelos said in the interview. “Right now, it’s basically Shelly Silver picking the Regents and we think there should be an opportunity for the Senate to be truly part of that process by both houses voting on the confirmations separately so the person who passed the Senate would have to pass the Assembly.”In addition to raising the possibility of changing how the Regents are appointed, Cuomo has indicated he wants more power over how the state runs public education, which is currently controlled by the semi-autonomous Department of Education and its commissioner.
“I think we should consider giving the governor more control of education as appropriate,” Skelos said.
The chance that Shelly Silver and Assembly Dems are going to cede power to Cuomo is non-existent.
Nonetheless you can see from Skelos' statements that a) Cuomo and Republicans are on the same team on this and b) if given a chance, they will try and impose more executive control over the state education system.
Republicans have a slim majority in the State Senate but their numbers will be bolstered by the five members of the Independent Democratic Conference (e.g., Jeff Klein, Tony Avella, et al.)
It is quite clear that GOPers and IDCers will be voting to give Cuomo all that he wants on education policy.
It's only the Assembly that will stand in the way.