The Executive Council confirmed former State Rep and businessman Frank Edelblut’s nomination as the Commissioner of the Department of Education yesterday. Here are some reactions in the Granite State:
Governor Chris Sununu tweeted the following statement regarding Commissioner Edelblut’s confirmation:
“I am thrilled today that the Executive Council has confirmed Frank Edelblut as New Hampshire’s new Commissioner of the Department of Education… Frank will do an outstanding job and will work tirelessly to imporve our state system by implementing 21st century education and preparing students to enter into an increasingly-competitive global workforce.”
Jeannie Forrester, state GOP chairwoman, tweeted her support for Commissioner Edelblut:
— Jeanie Forrester (@JeanieForrester) February 15, 2017
Republican State Rep J.R. Hoell showed his support:
— Rep. JR Hoell (@NH_Braveheart) February 15, 2017
Senators Jay Kahn and David Watters, the two Democrats on the Senate Education Committee, released this statement regarding his confirmation:
“Providing a high quality education to all our children is one of the most sacred obligations we have as a state and that responsibility should not be subverted by any political or ideological agenda. New Hampshire deserves a qualified, non-controversial Commissioner of Education who will work on behalf of all our children. We are concerned that Governor Sununu’s choice of Frank Edelblut as Commissioner of Education may not meet these expectations.”
“We congratulate Commissioner Edelblut on his confirmation, but we share the concerns expressed by hundreds of Granite Staters and educational professionals during his nomination and confirmation process regarding his ability to be an effective, non-ideological commissioner.”
“During the public hearing on his nomination, Commissioner Edelblut stated that he had no intention of dismantling public education. We intend to hold him to his word. We also will make every effort to prevent any tax dollars from going to religious schools. We hope that Commissioner Edelblut will join us in strengthening our public education system, rather than weaken it.”
Executive Councilor Chris Pappas released this statement:
“During the confirmation process, Frank Edelblut demonstrated he lacks both experience with and support for our state’s public schools. It is clear that Mr. Edelblut is unable to be the type of non-partisan, consensus-building commissioner that our education system deserves. He holds political views on a range of issues that place him outside the mainstream, from his opposition to full-day kindergarten to support for gay conversion therapy. We do not need a commissioner who will interject ideology into the role, and I didn’t receive assurances that he would abandon past positions or steer clear of political activities after he is confirmed.
Given these factors, the overwhelmingly majority of grassroots opposition, and the state Board of Education’s statement of no confidence for Mr. Edelblut’s nomination, I voted against his confirmation today.”
Read the full press release here.