Governor-elect DeSantis has named Richard Corcoran as his pick for the next Florida Commissioner of Education. As the previous Speaker of the House, Corcoran ushered in two of the most harmful and sweeping education bills which greatly expanded charters and vouchers while attempting to restrict traditional public schools.
Corcoran — whose wife runs a Pasco charter school — had more power over public education during his last two years as House Speaker, where he advanced charter schools through programs like “Schools of Hope,” which cleared the path for state-approved providers to bring schools into communities where district campuses have fared poorly.
“Richard is known as a no-nonsense reformer whose sole focus has been how best to support students, parents and teachers,” DeSantis said in a statement. “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.” Tampa Bay Times
The Vice Chair of the Education Committee, Senator Montford issued a dire warning for public schools.
“If we don’t change the course which we are on, the traditional public school as we know it is threatened,” said Montford.
The former middle-school teacher, high school principal and school superintendent wants a review of the reforms adopted the past decade and a sorting of what worked and what didn’t.
“It’s time to take a breather and see what the impact has been,” said Montford, who added a dual education system has arisen in the wake of the Legislature’s work.
“One is generously funded, and one is not. The traditional public school system is not funded as well as a generation ago nor does the prospect look good now,” said Montford.
Public education stakeholders like the Florida Education Association have already sounded the alarm. They have called for the Board of Education to initiate a nationwide search for a qualified candidate for the commissioner job. The Florida League of Women Voters have joined that effort and issued a statement demanding a nationwide search for an alternate candidate. The Alliance for Public Schools, Florida PTA and other public education advocacy groups are reminding citizens to remain engaged and to be ready to raise their voices as the new administration takes over. Stay tuned…