- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Former Arkansas state Sen. Johnny Key has been named commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Education.

The State Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to approve Key, who was recommended for the post by Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Key is a Republican from Mountain Home who now lives in Little Rock. He will replace Commissioner Tony Wood on Thursday.

Key’s appointment comes after the Legislature passed and Hutchinson signed a bill reducing the requirements for state education commissioner.

The commissioner previously was required to hold a master’s degree from an accredited institution, have 10 years’ experience as a teacher- including five as an administrator - and hold a valid state teacher’s license. Those requirements are removed so long as the deputy commissioner meets the qualifications.

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