Florida’s State Board of Education (SBOE) voted unanimously on Friday to appoint Sen. Manny Diaz, Jr. to serve as Florida’s next Commissioner of Education. The vote comes just a week after Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recommendation to appoint Diaz to the position after current Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced that he will be stepping down at the end of April.
While Diaz’s tenure is set to begin June 1, SBOE Senior Chancellor Jacob Oliva is set to serve as interim Commissioner from May 2 to May 31. Corcoran’s final day as Commissioner will be May 1.
“I am incredibly thankful for Governor DeSantis’ commitment to improving the quality of education we provide to our students, and for the opportunity to build upon the amazing work that Commissioner Corcoran and the Florida Department of Education have accomplished,” said Diaz, Jr. “I am extremely humbled and appreciative of the faith and trust that the State Board of Education has placed in me. Rest assured, Florida will continue to serve students, parents, and educators in our quest to provide students with a world-class education that meets the unique and individual needs of all students.”
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.
“From our time in the legislature until now, Senator Diaz has been an absolute warrior for students, parents, and educators. His dedication to Florida families will endure as he steps into the role of Commissioner of Education,” said Corcoran. “I am proud of the work we have accomplished during my three years as Commissioner, I am grateful for the leadership of our Governor and the support of our State Board of Education and our Department’s staff, and know Florida’s education system is in great hands with Manny Diaz.”