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SANTA FE — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s nominee for public education secretary, Hanna Skandera, faces questions in the Legislature over whether she meets constitutional requirements for the job.
The leader of the Public Education Department must be a “qualified, experienced educator,” according to the New Mexico Constitution, but Skandera has never worked as a teacher or administrator in a public elementary or secondary school.
Skandera is subject to Senate confirmation and Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, said lawmakers are trying to determine what the constitution means by “educator.”
“I don’t think we should just close our eyes to that issue,” Sanchez said in a recent interview.
When asked what he thought about the senate’s concerns, Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Gene Schmidt said that he would defer to the senate to confirm Skandera’s qualifications, saying that he did not have access to her portfolio.
However, Schmidt did say that he did have access to first impressions and “I will say that I had a very favorable first impression.”
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