Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran in a surprise announcement on Thursday stated that he will be stepping down from his position at the end of April.
Corcoran has served in his role for more than 3 years since his appointment in December 2018, and has served the state continuously since 2010, including his time as a member and as speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.
“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 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.”
Corcoran revealed in an interview last year that he held remained Commissioner longer than initially expected, with a goal of becoming Florida State University’s President after the former President John Thrasher retired in 2021. It is not yet known who will be appointed as the next DoE Commissioner.
“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.”
Corcoran’s departure will come following a 2022 Legislative Session that placed a heavy focus on parental rights in education, dealing with proposals that granted parents of children more transparency in taught curriculum and conduct.
Under Corcoran’s leadership, teachers received increased pay, per-student spending reached all-time highs within the state, and the heavily criticized Common Core program was scrapped.