Speculation that former House Speaker Richard Corcoran could be Florida’s next education commissioner under Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis continues to build momentum in Tallahassee.
The rumor began to circulate late last week when Politico quoted an anonymous source who said, “The scuttlebutt in the education world is that DeSantis is making phone calls to education leaders letting them know of the upcoming appointment.”
On Monday, former state Senate president Don Gaetz was quoted in a Tampa Bay Times article sounding confident that the education commissioner’s post is Cocoran’s to have if he wants it.
“I believe he will be appointed, and if he is, there won’t be any question as to who the new commissioner is or what his beliefs are,” said former state Senate president Don Gaetz.
Gaetz is the father of U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz, who is a close confidante of DeSantis. The two served together the past two years in the U.S. House and both are big supporters of President Donald Trump.
The older Gaetz is a former superintendent and board member for Okaloosa County schools and was one of the names mentioned as a possible candidate for the education commissioner position.
Gaetz told the Times that in recent meeting with DeSantis, he made it known he was not interested in the position.
Corcoran is a big supporter of school choice programs and made charter schools a priority during his two years as speaker. He would replace Pam Stewart, who last month agreed to stick around for another full year as commissioner. Before agreeing to stay on, Stewart had made it clear she had planned to retire at the end of Gov. Rick Scott’s administration.