Richard Corcoran is new state education commissioner

Richard Corcoran is Florida’s new Commissioner of Education.

Corcoran was selected unanimously for the position by the State Board of Education at its Dec. 17 meeting.

Richard Corcoran (File)

In a news release about the appointment, Richard Corcoran said, “I look forward to working with the Board to ensure students and their families are empowered to take control of their education options, more resources are directed to Florida’s classrooms and all students have high-performing educators. Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis set strong expectations for education in Florida, and I look forward to working with our state’s education stakeholders and the Florida Legislature to ensure Florida’s students have the greatest chance at lifelong success.”

Corcoran, a veteran and an attorney, served for eight years in the Florida House of Representatives and served as Speaker of the House from 2016 to 2018.

As a legislator, he advocated for the Schools of Hope program, which serves students in persistently low-performing schools; the establishment of the Hope Scholarship to help bullied students; and the Best and Brightest Scholarship Program, to reward and recruit quality educators.

Under the Florida Constitution, the State Board of Education is responsible for appointing the commissioner of education.

State Board of Education Chair Marva Johnson said, “Richard Corcoran has a strong leadership record. He is the best leader to ensure a smooth transition and to identify opportunities to accelerate progress along the way,” according to the release. “He brings with him a passion for providing Floridians access to the world-class education options they deserve and being a good steward of taxpayer dollars. I am confident he will be critical to keeping Florida’s education system moving in the right direction.”

Other state board of education members also spoke highly of Corcoran’s appointment to the post, including, Gary Chartrand who said Corcoran “has a well-deserved reputation for advocating intensely on behalf of Florida’s students and their families. I have been outspoken about parents’ right to choose the best school for their children’s individual needs, and he will play a pivotal role in maintaining the positive momentum we have built around school choice in Florida.”

Published December 26, 2018

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