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Sanstead: Oversight committee 'unconstitutional"

By Dave Thompson

Bismarck, ND – State School Superintendent Wayne Sanstead says a proposed oversight committee concerned with the new federal "No Child Left Behind" act is unconstitutional.

The Senate Education Committee is looking at the bill to create the committee. It would have final say on the rules for implementing the federal act, and would have subpoena power.

Sanstead told the Education Committee that the federal law puts him in charge of carrying out the act. And he says the subpoena power is unwarranted.

Sanstead says he has requested a formal Attorney General's opinion on whether the measure is a power grab by the Legislature. And he says he's willing to go to court, if necessary.

Supporters argue that the Legislature should have oversight of the rules, much like the interim Rules Committee. And they say they've heard complaints about the heavy-handedness of the Department of Public Instruction when it comes to the rules.