Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday recommended that Senator Manny Diaz Jr. be appointed as the next education commissioner.
Diaz, a Hialeah Republican who represents Senate District 36, has served in the Florida Legislature since 2012. During his time in the House and Senate, Diaz has led several education committees while also sponsoring a number of educational initiatives that champion school choice and empower parents. Some of the issues he spearheaded include expanding eligibility for school-voucher programs, eliminating the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA), creating the Charter School Review Commission, and preventing critical race theory (CRT) from being taught in Florida schools.
The recommendation comes after Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced last month that he planned to step down at the end of April.
In a press release, the Governor pointed to Diaz’s experience inside the classroom as a teacher, coach, assistant principal and school administrator, and praised his conservative record on education issues during his time in the Florida Legislature.
“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 received his 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. Diaz was elected to the Florida House in 2012 before making the jump to the Senate in 2018.
The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) would have to approve the Governor’s recommendation. Upon appointment, Diaz would be the first Hispanic Commissioner of Education in Florida history.
“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.”
Having served with @SenMannyDiazJr, I know he is a champion for education and will serve Florida’s students. His vast experience and knowledge as a former teacher, administrator, and policymaker uniquely qualify him to continue making Florida a national leader in education.
— Jeanette Nuñez (@LtGovNunez) April 21, 2022