Florida's Commissioner of Education announced Thursday that he will be stepping down from his position in the coming weeks.
In a statement, Richard Corcoran said he would be leaving the position in April after more than three years leading the department - and praised Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for his work in promoting a similar agenda.
“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."
DeSantis called Corcoran a "champion" for students and families in the state.
“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," DeSantis wrote. "During his tenure, both in the House and at the Department, our state has become an education juggernaut and national leader for innovation."
Corcoran's tenure since his December 2018 appointment, which came after eight years in the Florida House that included two years as House Speaker, has seen an expansion of the school choice program and an increase in funding for teacher salaries.
His time in office hasn't been without some controversy. He clashed with health experts over re-opening schools in the fall of 2020 amid the COVID pandemic and had previously said he would have funding cut for counties that implemented mask mandates.
His resignation comes the same day as the Florida House voted to pass a bill that would ban the teaching of critical race theory.
The Pasco County resident said he will be returning to private life with his wife and six children.
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