Ron DeSantis Names Richard Corcoran to the Board of Governors of the State University System

Gov. Ron DeSantis named former Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran to the Board of Governors of the State University System.

After being elected in 2018, DeSantis tapped Corcoran, a champion of school choice during his two years leading the Florida House, to be the state’s education commissioner.

“I am proud to recommend Richard Corcoran for Florida Education Commissioner and know that he will put his experience and passion for the success of Florida’s students to work in this new role,” said DeSantis. “Richard is known as a no-nonsense reformer whose sole focus has been how best to support students, parents and teachers. This issue is very personal to me. Casey and I believe that the future of our children and the future of all Florida’s children depend on our education system. I know Richard will never stop fighting until every child in Florida has access to a world-class education.”

While he backed then Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam for governor in 2018, Corcoran threw his support to DeSantis after the primary. During his tenure as speaker, Corcoran launched the “Schools of Hope” program, giving students more options to leave failing schools. Corcoran also helped create the Hope Scholarship, giving school choice options to students who are bullied. Besides leading the House as speaker, Corcoran also served as then-state House Speaker Marco Rubio’s chief of staff more than a decade ago.Corcoran helped ensure students reopened quickly in Florida during the COVID pandemic.

Corcoran had applied to lead Florida State University (FSU) after then-President John Thrasher announced his retirement and drew criticism from members of the faculty. Richard McCullough, who had been part of Harvard University’s leadership, beat out Corcoran and other candidates to lead FSU.

“Richard has been a champion for students and families, and a great leader of the Department of Education,” said DeSantis when Corcoran announced in March that he would be stepping down. “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 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.”

Kevin Derby
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