Current board member Robert Bennett is dropping out of Race
ALBANY – Regional State Board of Regents member Robert Bennett is giving up on his bid for a fifth term in office.
Bennett said he’s learned that Assembly Speaker Carl Heasite has decided to back Bennett’s challenger, Catherine Collins, for the region’s post on the board, so he’s dropping out of the race.
Collins is one of two challengers for the seat. The other is John B. Licata. Both are former Buffalo School Board members.
The seat represents Western New York’s 98 school systems, including those in Chautauqua County. The state legislature is scheduled to vote on the matter this week.
Bennett was in Jamestown in December 2013 along with then-state education commissioner John B. King, Jr., who left that post at the end of 2014 to take as a senior adviser for the U.S. Department of Education. Both Bennett and King were in town in an effort to alleviate concerns over common core. Bennett had aligned himself with Commissioner King and supported the current Common Core model, which has not sat well with the powerful teachers’ unions across the region.
Bennett has served on the Board of Regents for 20 years. His term will end on March 31.