LePage nominates first education commissioner in years

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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine's Republican governor says he has nominated the Education Department's acting head for the permanent post.

Deputy Commissioner Robert Hasson is a former teacher, principal and superintendent who has served as acting commissioner for nearly four months.

The State Board of Education has endorsed Hasson. Now, the Legislature's education committee must hold a confirmation hearing within 30 days.

The Maine Department of Education hasn't had a permanent commissioner since Jim Rier left in 2014.

Gov. Paul LePage last year withdrew former Husson University President Bill Beardsley's nomination after resistance from Democrats. A series of acting commissioners who deferred their authority to Beardsley have since headed the department.

The Maine School Superintendents Association has said the inconsistency made it difficult for educators to communicate with the state.

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