Skandera's qualifications questioned

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By Barry Massey

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Questions are being raised in the Legislature over whether Gov. Susana Martinez's nominee for public education secretary meets state constitutional requirements for the job.

The constitution says the leader of the Public Education Department must be a "qualified, experienced educator." But Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera has never worked as a teacher or administrator in an elementary or secondary school.

The governor's office says Skandera is qualified as cabinet secretary because she's worked as an administrator and policy adviser in the U.S. Department of Education as well as state education agencies in Florida and California. She's also was a lecturer at universities in California.

Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez says lawmakers are reviewing the constitutional requirements for education secretary as part of Skandera's Senate confirmation proceedings.