The state teachers union — which is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf of Senate Democrats this cycle — is pushing back against comments Gov. Andrew Cuomo made to The Daily News editorial board that public education is a “monopoly.”

Cuomo in the meeting called for a revamped teacher evaluation law as well as encourage more competition from charter schools.

“I believe these kinds of changes are probably the single best thing that I can do as governor that’s going to matter long-term,” he said, “to break what is in essence one of the only remaining public monopolies — and that’s what this is, it’s a public monopoly.”

The comments were rebuked Tuesday afternoon by New York State United Teachers President Karen Magee.

“Public education is for the public good,” said NYSUT President Karen Magee in a statement. “It is not a monopoly. It is the centerpiece of our democracy and what makes our nation great. Reclaiming the promise of public education should be our singular focus. The governor’s comments are an unfortunate distraction from the serious conversation we must have in this state about addressing poverty, funding and real solutions that ensure that every child receives fair and equal to a high quality education.”

The battle between the governor and the state teachers union is nothing new, and as Jimmy Vielkind pointed our earlier, candidate Cuomo in 2010 made similarly critical remarks of teachers unions around the same point in the election season.