New Hampshire Delays Vote on Controversial State Education Chief

By Daarel Burnette II — February 02, 2017 1 min read
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After fierce backlash over the lack of his education experience, New Hampshire’s Executive Council has delayed for two weeks a vote on whether to approve Frank Edelblut to serve as the state’s education commissioner.

Edelblut was nominated by new Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, but needs to be approved by an elected council which appears split on whether to confirm him. The vote by the council, which is tasked with approving the governor’s spending and appointees, was put off until Sununu meets with the state’s board of education. The board was originally expected to vote at Tuesday’s meeting.

Edelblut, who also ran for governor but lost the Republican primary in 2016 by just 800 votes, has come under fire for having no education experience other than sitting on the board of Patrick Henry College’s foundation. He has spent most of his career as a businessman, Edelblut is an opponent of the Common Core State Standards and supports school choice.

“I have no intention of dismantling public education,” Edelblut said at the meeting which lasted more than eight hours, according to the Associated Press. “I do have every intention of helping the system move forward and offer a product that parents, employers and educators want for our young people, and what our young people deserve.”

More than 100 people protested at the executive council meeting Tuesday, arguing that his lack of experience would attempt to dismantle New Hampshire’s public school system. The council decided to delay the vote until Sununu meets with the state board of education Feb. 9, as required by the state’s constitution.

The state board of education was mostly appointed by former Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat who was elected to the U.S. Senate in November.

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.