By the Way, a New Schools Oversight Panel

ALBANY—Apparently, in addition to the Assembly's school-control bill and the four chapter amendments to increase parental involvement, the State Senate passed a resolution today by a voice vote that will create a panel to oversee the public schools.

Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos and Senator Frank Padvan, a Republican from Queens who is sponsoring the Assembly bill in his chamber, revealed the resolution to the reporters at a press conference this morning.

"It's re-emphasizing what's already there," Padavan said, noting that the task force will have the power to hold hearings, subpoena witnesses and issue reports. It will not have a formal role in moving legislation. There will be four Democrats and three Republicans on the task force.

"It's redundancy. I think it has to do with their conference politics," Skelos added. "This is something that becomes a little more feel-good for them."

Both men said they would support the resolution. Micah Lasher, a lobbyist for the City Department of Education, said the city took no position on the resolution. Democratic Senators Bill Perkins and John Sampson spoke in favor of the resolution.

By the Way, a New Schools Oversight Panel