Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) recommended Florida State Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. (R – Hialeah Gardens) to succeed current Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. Corcoran was a former Florida House Speaker who is seeking to spend time with family and announced his resignation effective at the end of April.
“Richard has been a champion for students and families, and a great leader of the Department of Education,” DeSantis said. “He is driven by his principles and has never shied away from making the difficult decisions needed to improve the quality of education in Florida.
Diaz has a bachelor’s degree from St. Thomas University, a master’s degree in education from Nova Southeastern, and completed a Harvard Graduate School of Education program for principals.
While DeSantis did not officially offer up Diaz for appointment, DeSantis said Diaz would do a great job as commissioner.
“Manny Diaz has done a great job in the Legislature on education issues ranging from teacher pay to parental rights and choice,” said DeSantis. “I am confident that he will serve our state well as the Commissioner of Education.”
Diaz issued a statement thanking DeSantis and reiterated his commitment to Florida’s educators and students during his career as a legislator.
“It is an honor to be recommended by Governor DeSantis to serve as the Education Commissioner,” said Diaz. “For my entire career I have worked to improve the education system to serve Florida’s students, parents and teachers. I am excited to get to work continuing the mission of the Governor to make Florida the Education State.”
Diaz was one of the leading lawmakers in sponsoring numerous pieces of legislation that have gained notable attention regarding Florida’s education system. He sponsored SB 1048 which overhauled Florida’s current standardized testing requirements and replaced them with a progress monitoring system, SB 148 which banned Critical Race Theory (CRT) and “woke training” from Florida’s schools and businesses, and SB 1054 which established financial literacy education as a standard for schools.
The education commissioner has had a robust task in the last year as the Florida Department of Education was tasked with taking on rogue schools boards who violated DeSantis’ mask mandate ban.
Diaz has also been a strong advocate for school choice and charter school options. If he seeks the appointment, he will be heading up a department that will be dealing with the implementation of DeSantis’ recently signed “anti-woke” legislation in schools, including the Parental Rights in Education bill and CRT ban.
– – –