What’s Wrong With This Picture?
In the most anticipated Senate confirmation hearing of Governor Susana Martinez’s administration, that of Secretary of Public Education, will take place today in what is expected to be a contentious political battle.
Senate Rules Committee Chair Sen, Linda M. Lopez – D Bernalillo County, left, has delayed a conformation hearing into the third Legislative session.
New Mexico Department of Public Education Secretary Designate Hanna Skandera, right, has been serving in the position since January 1, 2011. She is paid the same as if she were the confirmed Secretary and acts with full authority.
New Mexico Constitution
Sec. 6. [Public education department; public education commission.]
A. There is hereby created a “public education department” and a “public education commission” that shall have such powers and duties as provided by law. The department shall be a cabinet department headed by a secretary of public education who is a qualified, experienced educator who shall be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate.What seems at issue is based on the Constitutional requirements that the secretary of public education, “is a qualified, experienced educator.”
According to her resume she has a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Sonoma State University and a Master’s of Public Policy, specializing in American Politics and International Relations from Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy.
The Martinez administration citing Skandara's resume, takes the position her vast experience as a high level as a senior policy advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Education, as Florida’s Deputy Commissioner of Education, California’s Undersecretary for Education, and having taught Education Policy at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Public Policy substitutes for “qualified, experienced educator”.
Senate Minority Floor Leader Sen. Stuart Ingle – R Chaves, Curry, De Baca, Lea, and Roosevelt Counties, right, and as senior Republican member of the Rules Committee will introduce Skandera. The hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. – Room 321, State Capitol.