The group that represents Maine's school superintendents is urging Republican Gov. Paul LePage to appoint a permanent education commissioner.

A letter from the Maine School Superintendents Association sent to the governor last week states the uncertainty surrounding the position is hurting the position's stature, creating an unstable environment in the office and confusing staff as to who is in charge of the Department of Education.

The letter says a permanent commissioner is necessary because school districts must collaborate with the state on duties, including data reporting, law compliance and distribution of aid to districts.

The state agency hasn't had a permanent education commissioner since Jim Rier left in late 2014. William Beardsley has been serving as acting commissioner.