Gov. Paul LePage has taken steps to nominate the Education Department’s acting head for the permanent post.

Deputy Commissioner Robert Hasson has served as acting commissioner since last December.

The State Board of Education says it will now interview Hasson. Then the matter will go to the Legislature’s education committee and a Senate vote.

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

LePage last year withdrew former Husson University President Bill Beardsley’s nomination after resistance from Democrats. A series of acting commissioners who effectively reported to Beardsley have since headed the department.

Steve Bailey, the president of the Maine School Superintendents Association, told Maine Public on Wednesday that the inconsistency made it difficult for educators to communicate with the state.

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