Edelblut makes war on education, by Joe Schapiro | Letters to the Editor
New Hampshire has long standing issues with public education. Despite repeated and successful court challenges over funding disparities between wealth-poor and asset-poor communities, meaningful solutions have remained elusive.
Sadly, we now face a more immediate and extreme threat to education in our state. Remarkably, it is headed by the very person responsible for supporting and improving our schools: Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut. Since his appointment in 2017 by Governor Sununu, Commissioner Edelblut has shown an antipathy to public schools, teachers and teacher unions, but recently his campaign to tear down our schools has been overwhelmed.
The commissioner has given his full support to a school voucher program which, since being inserted into the budget and signed by the governor, is widely regarded as the most extreme in the country. Estimated to attract a handful of students at minimal cost in its first year, it is now over budget by 5,000 percent, at a cost to taxpayers of about $ 8 million in that year alone.
This fall, the commissioner was the guest speaker at a meeting of the Government Integrity Project, a far-right organization that promotes baseless reports of election fraud, organizes protests against the use of masks in schools and disrupts meetings state school boards.
Also this fall, the commissioner met with the Cheshire County Republican Committee. It is no coincidence that soon after, a small group of people attended the Chesterfield School Board meeting demanding all information on the curriculum and reading material used in the classes in order to clean the school teaching “concepts that divide”.
Now Commissioner Edelblut has added a page to the Department of Education’s website that invites and encourages parents and students to bring complaints against their teachers under the thinly veiled guise of discrimination based on feeling guilty about it. ‘be white. It is a naked act of incitement and a call for self-defense against the very people to whom we entrust the care of educating and caring for our children.
Whether it’s funding our schools, disrupting efforts to keep our students safe, censoring essential discussions about race, or supporting baseless accusations against educators, Frank Edelblut supports them all. It is time for Governor Sununu to uphold his many statements in favor of public education. It is time for the governor to demand the resignation of Edelblut.
(This writer, a Democrat, represents District 16 of Cheshire at the NH House.)