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Education Commissioner Edelblut Dismisses Claims of a 'Power Grab' at the Department

Peter Biello for NHPR

Department of Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut is dismissing claims that he’s seeking more power for his new position.

Earlier this week, Republican State Senator John Reagan introduced an amendment to a bill that would consolidate some authorities in DOE under the commissioner’s office.

Edelblut says he asked for the changes, but he disputes charges from Democrats and the state’s largest teachers union that this is a power grab.

Edelblut says the move is about keeping the department responsive and to account for changes that he says have already been made.

“I think that my previous commissioners made some of these changes in order to allow the Department of Education to be more responsive to its customers," said Edelblut, "but those changes were not reflected in the law, and I feel an obligation to have fidelity to the law.”

Senator Reagan, the amendment’s sponsor, said on Thursday the move was in response to resistance Edelblut was facing from within the Department.

Edelblut disputed that claim, saying he’s faced no resistance at DOE.

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