In a party line, 3-2 vote, the Executive Council confirmed the appointment of education activist Bill Duncan to the state Board of Education this morning.
The pick drew the ire of charter school advocates and Republicans.
Much of the debate Thursday centered on Duncan’s role as the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the state’s education tax credit program.
Republican Councilor Chris Sununu says that alone makes him a less than ideal choice.
“Whether you believe in that issue or not, it’s hard to claim impartiality when you’re the guy suing the state. And it’s not something that happened in the past; it’s active, it’s in the courts now.”
All three Democrats on the Council argued Duncan’s support for public education is without question.
The retired New Castle businessman founded the advocacy group Advancing New Hampshire Public Education.
Charter school advocates say Duncan’s been a vocal critic of their movement, but Councilor Chris Pappas says he spoke with Duncan about this issue.
“And he gave me the commitment without hesitation that he supports the missions of these schools, that he’s going to work to build bridges with these parents, and with these institutions.”
Governor Maggie Hassan brought forward the nomination.
Duncan’s four-year term begins immediately.