Governor Selects Johnny Key As Education Commissioner

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LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) – Gov. Asa Hutchinson has selected former state Sen. Johnny Key to be state Commissioner of Education, according to a news release on Monday (March 2).

In that role, Key, a Republican from Mountain Home, will oversee the Arkansas Department of Education.

“Johnny has always exhibited a passion for improving education, from his work as a legislator who focused on educational issues to his current position as associate vice president for the University of Arkansas system,” Hutchinson said in the release.

Before Key can assume the post, the General Assembly will have to change the qualifications requiring the commissioner to be a teacher or superintendent. Key has not served in those roles. (Click here to read more from our content partner in Little Rock, KTHV-TV Channel 11.)

The selection also will have to be approved by the state Board of Education, the release states.

Key,  who  serves as  associate vice president for university relations at the University of Arkansas System, said he is grateful to the governor for asking him to serve in the administration.

“I am confident that the 475,000 students of Arkansas can lead the nation in educational growth and achievement if all stakeholders – parents, teachers, administrators, communities, businesses, and state officials – hold high expectations and work in a cooperative and collaborative manner to meet those expectations,” Key said in the release.

Key, a University of Arkansas graduate in chemical engineering, served on the Senate Education Committee from 2009 to 2014  and was chairman for one term, the release states.

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