New York’s Board of Regents sets education policy for the state. The rules
and regulations it adopts have the force of law. The 17 Regents are elected to
staggered five-year terms by a joint session of the state Legislature. NYSUT
closely monitors the interview process used to select new Regents and to
reappoint Regents to successive terms. NYSUT also maintains a voting record
of each Regent on issues of importance, including private school vouchers,
teacher certification requirements and high school graduation requirements.
The Regents’ scope of authority, the broadest of any such body in the nation,
includes public and private elementary, secondary and higher education; the
licensed professions, including medicine, nursing and accounting; libraries,
museums and historical societies; and public television and radio stations.
The Regents also appoint the commissioner of education, who serves at their
pleasure. The commissioner is the chief executive officer of the State Education Department, which is the administrative arm of the Regents, and the president
of the State University of New York.
NYSUT constantly interacts with the Regents and the SED on several levels
and reviews and publishes fact sheets for the membership on issues being discussed
by the Regents that affect NYSUT members’ professional lives. NYSUT
also discusses with the board and individual Regents the impact of proposals
on our members and their work in the classroom.
What Every NYSUT Member Should Know About...