TITLE I
THE STATE AND ITS GOVERNMENT

CHAPTER 21-N
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Section 21-N:4

    21-N:4 Duties of Commissioner. –
In addition to the powers, duties, and functions otherwise vested by law in the commissioner of the department of education, the duties of the office of the commissioner shall include but not be limited to:
I. Establishing the organizational goals of the department and representing the public interest in the administration of the functions of the department of education and being responsible to the governor, the general court, and the public for such administration.
II. Having the authority, subject to the approval of the governor and council, to accept gifts, contributions, and bequests of unrestricted funds from individuals, foundations, corporations, and other organizations or institutions for the purpose of furthering the policy objectives of the department of education as set forth in RSA 21-N:1 and except as prohibited by any other provision of law.
III. Providing for a fair hearings unit within the commissioner's office which shall, when not inconsistent with federal law, conduct all hearings required under the provisions of RSA 186-C or any state or federal law or regulation. Such hearings shall be conducted as adjudicative proceedings as provided in RSA 541-A. The hearing officer, when appropriate and when not inconsistent with state or federal law, shall present proposed findings and recommendations to the commissioner who shall, upon review of the record, issue a final decision in the matter.
IV. Representing the department on boards, commissions, committees, and professional associations, or appointing a designee.
V. Establishing procedures to provide school administrative units with professional staff services, including direct services to school administrative units in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of administrative and instructional services. Such services shall include, but not be limited to, assistance in addressing problems, resolving disputes, and planning for internal reorganization; development of clearer role definitions for superintendents, assistant and associate superintendents, and school boards; and provision of resources and programs for board training and community education regarding school administrative unit functions and board and staff roles and responsibilities.
VI. Planning and applying for federal and other grants on a department-wide basis.
VII. Providing to the secretary of state in August of each year a list or lists of all colleges, universities, and career schools approved or licensed to operate in New Hampshire, all public high schools, and all nonpublic high schools in New Hampshire accredited by a private school accrediting agency recognized by the department of education.
VIII. With the advice of the state board of education, and in consultation with the deputy commissioner, the directors of the affected divisions, and the legislative oversight committee pursuant to RSA 193-C:8, transferring or assigning functions, programs, or services within or between any division. When transfers or assignments are enacted within the department that may require legislative action, the commissioner shall work with the legislative oversight committee to propose legislation supporting such transfers or assignments.
IX. Overseeing and providing, in conjunction with the deputy commissioner, the functions enumerated in RSA 21-N:5, I; RSA 21-N:6; RSA 21-N:7; and RSA 21-N:8.
X. Providing a clearing house for school bus driver and transportation monitor background checks to towns, cities, or other organizations paying for school bus transportation.
XI. (a) Reviewing, at least every 2 years, and updating as necessary, the consolidated state plan to ensure that sufficient funds are used to encourage and establish unified co-curricular activities in schools that currently have no unified program. For each biennium, the department may expend up to $50,000 for distribution to school districts for the primary purpose of funding first-year operational expenses of equipment and/or uniforms only for unified co-curricular activities. The amount of any grant shall be no more than $4,000 per program. Any funds remaining shall be distributed to school districts with existing unified co-curricular programs to fund grants to replace existing equipment and/or uniforms for existing unified co-curricular programs.
(b) The department shall include in its efficiency expenditure request under RSA 9:4 sufficient funds for the continued operation of its duties under this paragraph.
(c) Beginning in fiscal year 2027 and every 5 years thereafter, the department shall conduct an efficiency review of the programs and expenditures under this paragraph and shall make recommendations to the legislature as needed.
(d) The commissioner may adopt rules under RSA 541-A for the administration and oversight of unified co-curricular activities in schools.

Source. 1986, 41:1. 1989, 49:1, 2. 1994, 379:1. 1998, 389:7, eff. Oct. 1, 1998. 2013, 278:1, eff. July 24, 2013. 2016, 272:2, eff. July 1, 2017. 2017, 190:3, eff. June 30, 2017. 2018, 315:1, eff. Aug. 24, 2018. 2020, 38:34, eff. Jan. 1, 2021. 2022, 334:1, eff. Sept. 1, 2022.