Commissioner Richard Corcoran Announces his Planned Departure from the Florida Department of Education

Press release from the Florida Department of Education

Today, Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran announced he will be stepping down from his position at the end of April. He has served as the Commissioner of Education for more than 3 years since his appointment in December 2018, and he has served the state continuously since 2010, including his time as a member and as speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. During his public service, Commissioner Corcoran has overseen historic education reforms in Florida that expanded school choice, eliminated common core, and invested record funding in students and teachers. Following his departure from the Department, Commissioner Corcoran will return to private life and looks forward to spending more time with his wife Anne and their six children.

“Richard has been a champion for students and families and a great leader of the Department of Education,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “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. During his tenure, both in the House and at the Department, our state has become an education juggernaut and national leader for innovation. We wish him well and thank him for his service.”

“Like the rest of the nation, Florida’s school districts have had to weather some of the greatest difficulties they have ever experienced over the past two years, and I couldn’t think of a better governor to serve,” said Commissioner Corcoran. “Governor DeSantis has been the governor Florida deserves – he has unquestionably been the right leader, at the right time, in the greatest state in the nation, and I thank him and the members of the State Board of Education from the bottom of my heart for the faith they have put in me. Florida’s students will unquestionably continue to thrive under Governor DeSantis’ leadership.”

Over the course of the last four momentous legislative sessions while at the helm of the Florida Department of Education, Florida has been the most student-, parent-, and teacher-friendly state in the nation – solidifying its position as the “Education State.”

Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis and Commissioner Corcoran, Florida has passed the most massive and historic education reforms in Florida’s history with the help and support of the Florida Legislature. During the tenure of Commissioner Corcoran, Florida has:

  • Continually secured the highest ever K-12 public school and per-pupil spending totals in Florida’s history.
  • Overseen the largest expansion to educational choice opportunities, while continuing to prioritize low-income families to ensure a world-class education is in reach for every student regardless of race, zip code, or socio-economic status for school choice programs like the Family Empowerment Scholarship.
  • Marked the last few years as “The Year of the Teacher” with a bold step to elevate Florida as one of the top states in the nation in terms of starting teacher pay by securing over $1 billion pay increase for teachers.  
  • Become the first state to eradicate Common Core by creating and adopting Florida’s B.E.S.T. (Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking) Standards and eliminating the Florida Standards Assessment – Florida’s high stakes end-of-year statewide assessment.
  • Provided a roadmap to make Florida’s standards number one in the nation, streamlined testing, identified opportunities to improve civic literacy, and outlined a pathway to be the most literate state in the nation.
  • Spearheaded the creation of the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative to help create great citizens and elevate civic knowledge, civic skills, and civic disposition for middle and high school students through speech and debate.
  • Been the first state in the nation to reopen schools and guarantee families had an in-person instructional option five days a week.
  • I hope the governor can find someone who is as good, to replace Commissioner Corcoran.

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