- Associated Press - Thursday, March 16, 2017

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut says he anonymously contributed $1,000 to help finance a school board’s legal battle against the department he now heads.

Edelblut wrote an email to the Executive Council confirming the contribution, and he shared the email with the Concord Monitor in a story published Thursday. That came days after the Valley News reported that Edelblut declined to answer whether he was an unnamed donor to the Croydon School Board’s legal defense fund. Croydon, which only operates an elementary school, got in a court battle with the state in 2015 after using public dollars to send students to a Montessori school.

Councilor Andru Volinksy said Edelblut should have disclosed the contribution when he was under consideration for commissioner.

Edelblut told The Associated Press he answered every question asked of him during his eight-hour confirmation hearing. He was never asked whether he contributed to the board. Asked if the contribution would affect his impartiality, Edelblut said he’s been consistent in his support for the board. It’s not clear when Edelblut made the contribution.

Edelblut was confirmed as education commissioner in February. He previously served one term as a state representative and unsuccessfully ran for the Republican nomination for governor in 2016.

The Legislature is now considering a measure that would legally allow districts without certain grade levels to send students to private schools using taxpayer dollars.

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