You can take action by attending the hearing, calling your senator
Next Tuesday, the Senate’s Education Committee will hold a hearing on a plan that would drastically overhaul the Department of Education at the request of new Commissioner Frank Edelblut.
The plan was proposed by Sen. John Reagan, as an amendment to an unrelated bill. The proposal provides the Department of Education commissioner broad authority to reorganize the department, without oversight or consultation. This kind of an overhaul, giving vast authority to the commissioner, is not a great idea. Ramming it through this late in the legislative process is an even worse idea.
“We’re shocked something of this magnitude could come in this late in the session, although we are pleased they will at least hold a hearing,” said SEA President Rich Gulla. “The bottom line is that this kind of drastic overhaul requires thoughtful consideration and strong knowledge of the agency. With zero experience and only being on the job for a couple months, Commissioner Edelblut couldn’t even have learned everyone’s name yet, let alone how the agency works.”
Instead of approving Sen. Reagan’s amendment, the Senate should instead take the suggestion of Sen. David Watters and create a study committee for the proposed reorganization. Here are a couple of steps you can take to push back against this power grab:
Be at the hearing: We need you to be at the hearing on Tuesday, to make sure the Senate Education Committee knows this is unacceptable. If you can’t stay, please try to drop by and sign your name in opposition to the amendment. The hearing is at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Room 103 of the Legislative Office Building.
Call your senator: In the meantime, you can call your senator and let them know you strongly oppose this power grab. You can find your senator’s information here.
For more information
- Reaching Higher NH – Explaining what the proposed reorganization would do
- Union Leader editorial – Not so fast, Frank: Edelblut should outline reforms
- Kathy Sullivan – Experience should matter for Sununu’s commissioners