State Board supports Governor LePage’s candidate for Education Commissioner

AUGUSTA –The State Board of Education says they support Governor Paul R. LePage’s proposed Education Commissioner, following an interview with the candidate today.

Earlier this month, Governor LePage said he hoped to nominate Acting Education Commissioner Jim Rier, of Topsham, for the position permanently and asked the Board for their appraisal of the candidate, as required by State statute.

Rier, a former member and chair of the State Board of Education, joined the Maine Department of Education in 2003 as Director of Finance and Operations and became Deputy Commissioner in 2011. He has served as Acting Commissioner since October, working to successfully implement the student-centered reforms of the LePage Administration, including ensuring school choice and accountability and that his Department is effectively supporting school improvement.

Both Rier and State Board Chair Nancy Perkins, of Cornish, described today’s hour-long interview this afternoon in Augusta as “very positive.” Perkins added that the Board will send its letter of support for the candidate by early next week to Governor LePage, who is then expected to formally post his nomination for the Legislature’s consideration.

For more information about the State Board of Education, visit www.maine.gov/sbe.  For more information about the Maine Department of Education or Acting Commissioner Jim Rier, visit www.maine.gov/doe.