NEFAC, New Hampshire News Organizations Request Release of Education Reform Records

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |


The New England First Amendment Coalition and more than two dozen New Hampshire news organizations recent argued for the release of all records related to a special task force that will recommend revisions to rules governing public education for at least the next decade.

The task force is a quasi-governmental body and subject to New Hampshire’s Right to Know Law, argued NEFAC, the Granite State News Collaborative and the New Hampshire Press Association in an Oct. 17 letter.

The 13-member task force has been operating for two years, yet there is no public record of its meetings, votes or minutes, as required by by state law.

About the Task Force

In November 2020, as recommended by Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut, the Governor and Executive Council approved a $50,000 sole-source contract with the National Center for Competency-Based Learning “to facilitate a revision of the ED 306 Minimum Standards Administrative Rules.” The NCCBL is a Durham-based company led by former New Hampshire Board of Education Chair Fred Bramante.

In January 2021, the NCCBL created a 13-member self-described “task force” that set out “to enhance and further embed competency-based learning within the Minimum Standards,” according to a June 23, 2022, letter the task force sent to state educational leaders.

The ED 306 Minimum Standards Administrative Rules were established as part of the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules in 1983 by the legislature to provide legislative oversight of administrative rulemaking by executive branch agencies.

NEFAC and other press advocates contend that because the contract with NCCBL was approved by the Governor and Executive Council and its responsibilities are a derivative of the legislature’s oversight functions affecting public policy, the task force is a quasi-public body and therefore subject to all provisions of the state’s Right to Know Law.

In their letter, the organizations cite Bradbury v. Shaw, 116 N.H. 388 (1976), a case heard before the New Hampshire Supreme Court concerning the application of the Right to Know Law to a private committee. The court upheld the trial court’s finding that heavy involvement in governmental functions can render a private committee a public body and subject to the Right to Know Law.

NEFAC is the region’s leading advocate for the First Amendment and the public’s right to know about government. All coalition briefs, advocacy letters and statements can be found here.

NEFAC was formed in 2006 to advance and protect the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment, including the principle of the public’s right to know. We’re a broad-based organization of people who believe in the power of an informed democratic society. Our members include lawyers, journalists, historians, academics and private citizens.

Our coalition is funded through contributions made by those who value the First Amendment and who strive to keep government accountable. Please make a donation here.

NEFAC is supported by the Estate of Gloria Negri. Additional funding is provided by Leadership Circle donors including the Rhode Island Foundation, The Boston Globe, Paul and Ann Sagan, and the Robertson Foundation. Major Supporters of NEFAC’s work are Hearst Connecticut Media Group, Boston University, the Academy of New England Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation, Genie Gannett for the First Amendment Museum, Linda Pizzuti Henry, the Champa Charitable Foundation Fund, Connecticut Public and WBUR-Boston.