Posted on Capital Tonight on Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sen. John Flanagan told me during a CapTon interview last night that he’s open to the idea of a salary cap for public school superintendents, whose compensation was targeted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his budget address last week.

Cuomo mentioned the salary of a Syosset schools superintendent, Carole Hankin, who earns $386,868 a year, as an example of where education officials might consider cutting to make up for the loss of state aid they are expected to suffer during this budget cycle.

(He didn’t call Hankin out by name during his Feb. 1 presentation at the Egg’s Hart Theater, but she’s easy enough to identify, thanks to her outsized paycheck).

A spokesman for the governor refused to discuss with the NY Times whether Cuomo is considering following the lead of NJ Gov. Chris Christie in imposing a cap on most superintendents’ salaries, but Flanagan told me he thinks that’s fair game.

"And then if we want to go to that debate about distribution and fairness and equity, then I think it's all part of what should be discussed. There's no question in my mind, a contract like that to me, in my opinion, as a taxpayer, as a parent, as an elected official, it's outrageous."

Flanagan is one of the so-called “Long Island nine” – the GOP senators who make up the Nassau and Suffolk delegations (including Majority Leader Dean Skelos) who are digging in on Cuomo’s proposed education cuts, saying they aren’t fair and equitable.

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