If sources from Governor-elect Ron DeSantis’ transition team prove to be true, it looks like former House Speaker Richard Corcoran is on his way to becoming the sunshine state’s next Education Commissioner.
As the year comes to a close, announcements have been coming in concerning his transition-team and Corcoran’s would be one a few that are still left to be announced.
If appointed, Corcoran would be replacing outgoing Education Commissioner Pam Stewart, who had announced plans to retire once Governor Rick Scott’s term ended.
Scott, himself, will be moving to the Senate after defeating Senator Bill Nelson in the 2018 midterm elections.
Corcoran was expected to make a run for Governor, but he announced that he would not be throwing his name in the hat, and instead he endorsed Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. However, during the general election, he was vocal of his support of Governor-elect DeSantis’ school choice plans.
Commenting on the matter, Corcoran explained that “Ron DeSantis will work to ensure that our tax dollars will be prioritized to reduce teacher shortages and reward great teachers with great salaries, not to funding wasteful education bureaucracy.”
As Speaker of the House, Corcoran’s legacy is defined by many pro-school-choice changes that were made statewide concerning education.
For example, during the 2017 Legislative session, Corcoran supported the “Schools of Hope” plan, which provided for “hope operators” that would set up charter schools within five miles of “persistently” low-performing public schools. In addition, money was provided for traditional low-performing public schools.
Last month, Pam Stewart had announced that she planned to stay in the position one more year, so it is not clear if Corcoran’s potential appointment will affect her own plans to stay as Education Commissioner.
As reported by POLITICO, the “scuttlebutt in the education world is that DeSantis is making phone calls to education leaders letting them know of the upcoming appointment.”