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Florida's education commissioner stepping down

Richard Corcoran resigning in April to spend time with family
Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran
Posted at 1:55 PM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 13:57:53-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida's top education official announced Thursday he's stepping down.

After more than three years on the job, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said he'll resign at the end of April.

Corcoran was appointed to the position in December of 2018. Before that, he was the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.

Richard Corcoran
Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said keeping schools closed would have "permanently scarred a generation of children."

Under Corcoran's leadership, Florida expanded its school choice programs, secured record funding for K-12 public schools, and eliminated the Common Core standards and Florida Standards Assessment high-stakes testing.

"Richard has been a champion for students and families, and a great leader of the Department of Education," Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a news release. "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."

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Corcoran's time as education commissioner, however, has not come without controversy.

As a major critic of school mask mandates, Corcoran last year threatened to withhold funding equal to the salaries of school board members — including those in Palm Beach County — from school districts that required students to wear facial coverings without the ability to opt-out.

Corcoran said Thursday he's stepping down to spend more time with his wife and six children.