Maine DOE Newsroom

Governor LePage and Deputy Commissioner Beardsley tap Dr. Robert Hasson to join Blue Ribbon Commission as chair

AUGUSTA – Dr. William Beardsley, Deputy Commissioner of the Maine Department of Education, announced today that he has accepted an invitation from Governor LePage to serve as the Governor’s designee on the Commission to Reform School Funding and Improve Student Performance in Maine, creating a vacancy on the commission for a representative from the Department of Education, the seat previously held by Dr. Beardsley.

At Dr. Beardsley’s recommendation, Governor LePage has appointed Dr. Robert “Bob” Hasson from the Maine Department of Education to fill the vacant seat. State law requires that the member representing the Department of Education serve as chair for the Commission. Dr. Hasson currently oversees certification, educator effectiveness and higher education for the Department.

In a letter to Deputy Commissioner Beardsley dated August 5, 2016, Governor LePage wrote:

“While it may be difficult for the Commission to reach consensus on issues that will significantly impact public education in Maine, I remain hopeful that the members of the Commission possess the leadership, representative characteristics, and commitment needed to succeed and uncover ‘grand bargains’ that will improve our education system for the benefit of Maine students. In pursuit of these solutions, I would like you to serve as my designee to the commission.” The Governor added, “You are well suited to serve in my place. I have full confidence in your leadership of the Department of Education and your grasp of my priorities and passion for Maine Public Education.”

In response to the Governor’s letter, Deputy Commissioner Beardsley wrote, “I am honored by your confidence in me to represent you and the administration. I accept the appointment as your designee and will honor your trust.”

In recommending Dr. Hasson to join the Commission, Beardsley wrote, “Bob earned his doctorate at Boston College. He is a Maine native, a former Maine superintendent, a respected Department colleague, and is intimately familiar with the public education landscape in Maine and the issues related to school funding, student achievement, teaching and learning. Further, Bob possesses the necessary leadership and organizational skills to serve as the Commission’s chair and shepherd the group’s work to conclusion in a timely manner.”

Commenting on his appointment, Dr. Hasson said, “It is a great honor to be asked by Bill Beardsley and Governor LePage to join this distinguished group committed to finding solutions through collaboration and cooperation that will help Maine students. I am optimistic that the members of the panel can reach consensus on high level goals and chart a path to address real challenges in Maine’s public education system.”

The Commission to Reform Public Education Funding and Improve Student Performance in Maine was created by LD 1641 which added an additional $15 million in education funding for local schools. Based on its work, the Commission will submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature that includes findings and recommendations for action to reform public education funding and improve student performance in the State.

The Commission will meet on August 29 at 9 a.m. at York County Community College in Wells in the mid-café.

For any questions, contact Debra Plowman at debra.plowman@maine.gov or call 624-6614.

-END-