Richard Corcoran says no-show teachers could be ‘terminated’
Richard Corcoran got some national airtime Friday.

Corcoran
Florida's Commissioner of Education tried to walk back comments made on national TV.

Noting that Florida is a “strong right to work state,” the Commissioner of Education said teachers who don’t show up to work because of coronavirus concerns could be “terminated.”

Richard Corcoran, on Fox News Friday afternoon, laid down the law to potentially restive teachers in a four-minute segment with host Bill Hemmer.

“Any teacher that doesn’t show up to work … whatever that minimal less than 1% of teachers that don’t show up, then they get terminated,” he added, with his voice raising an octave as he said the word terminated.

Hemmer summed it up as Corcoran saying “if you don’t show up, you don’t get your job.”

The Commissioner didn’t challenge that read.

However, before the end of business Friday, Corcoran contacted Florida Politics to clarify that he does not have the power to fire teachers; if they are to be fired or “terminated,” that would be a decision made by individual school superintendents.

He did not offer such clarification during his four-minute segment, however. And it is unclear whether he has pressed Fox News for a clarification.

Corcoran was equally breezy in the segment about the current lawsuit from the Florida Education Association, the largest teachers’ union in the Sunshine State.

The suit, filed in July, challenges an edict from the commissioner that schools must reopen this month under plans approved by his office or run the risk of losing funding from the state.

Arguments were heard this week in Tallahassee. Leon County Judge Charles Dodson did not issue a ruling by the end of the day Friday.

Despite the suit hanging in the balance, the commissioner was confident in comments on cable television that he did not walk back.

“It’s a frivolous lawsuit … It’s an absolutely frivolous case,” Corcoran said. “We’ve already opened up over a third of our districts. We have 65% of parents and students who have chosen to be face to face with their instructors.”

“What’s even more enlightening,” the Commissioner added, “is 95 to 100% of teachers showed up on that first day. They want to be with their kids, they want to teach, they want to have that interaction.”

Corcoran said “you have 28 districts, and almost half have 100% participation from teachers.”

Kendall Coffey, an attorney for the Florida Education Association, said the order to reopen schools “marginalizes safety.”

Corcoran and Gov. Ron DeSantis, in the face of pushback since the order was issued last month, have noted that students and teachers have options including remote learning. But those options haven’t quelled the conflict between the state and the teachers’ union.

Classrooms were shut down in March as COVID-19 began to spread throughout the state, and children were forced to use distance learning the rest of the spring.

Although DeSantis and Corcoran have said publicly that teachers with medical conditions should be accommodated during the pandemic, local school officials have denied some educators’ requests to teach remotely.

Material from the News Service of Florida was used in this post.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com


24 comments

  • Jim

    August 21, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    So the jackass threatens to fire no-show teachers and then claims that when 95-100% of teachers show up, it’s because they’re excited to see their students.

  • Frankie M.

    August 21, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    Teachers want to keep their jobs. What a novel concept! This dumbass needs to go back to school after he’s been fired for fraud, waste, and abuse. The better question is where are the students? Because they’re not in schools.

  • Paula

    August 21, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    Hopefully he will do a stint teaching, and then he’ll ee how underpaid teachers really are. And, now he wants them to put their life on the line. Many have been teaching for decades, and are in the higher-risk group.

    • Mickey M

      August 22, 2020 at 3:25 pm

      He’s not qualified to teach. He has no education background at all.

  • Ben

    August 21, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    If Corcoran contracted the worst known sexually transmitted diseases (even without sexual contact; I wouldn’t wish that on any woman), and wasted away into nothing, I’d sleep soooooo much better at night. Fuck you very much from various states across the US. We see you, we hate you. Dumbest prick I’ve researched from that state since De Santis.

  • Nunz

    August 21, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    Check into this mans past. Looks at who he has associated with, federal charges against him for killing endangered species and even shooting seagulls. He is a liar. A very real sociopath. A pathological liar who has risen to,higher paid office by selling us all out.

  • Jane

    August 21, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    REAL MEN PROTECT WOMEN AND CHILDREN.

  • charter fraud

    August 21, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    After Trump the conman fraud gets thrown out of office in November we’re coming for you and fat Ronnie next Corcoran don’t forget that I told you so.>> enjoy your job while you have it now you’re a trump supporter that about tells me everything I need to know about your morals your ethics and your character/ you have no business being the Secretary of Education in this state none sooner or later people are going to vote your behind goodbye

  • JINNY

    August 21, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    One word – BULLY!!!

  • Priscilla

    August 21, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    This fool has no control over county school boards. Just another far reach from a Trump sycophant.

  • Frankie M.

    August 21, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    He talks louder than a motorbike but couldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight to quote JayZ via his #1 fan Lenny Curry.
    This dude is a joke with no punchline. Put him in a lineup with DeSantis & Trump. Bet you couldn’t tell their ideologies apart. Mainly because they don’t have one. What’s good for them is good for them.

  • Trudy Templeton

    August 22, 2020 at 12:55 am

    Teachers were NOT given their preference and most teachers chose to teach at home BUT instead were given face to face AND in person learning AND are not getting paid the raise that Desantis promised. This is all crock and what you are hearing is NOT what is actually happening.

  • Lisa

    August 22, 2020 at 5:29 am

    He’s not acknowledging that many many teachers have retired, quit, or took a leave of absence. They can’t fill positions. I also believe many will leave throughout the school year, deciding it’s just not worth it. We have a Commissioner of Education who hates teachers.

    • Mike Sirbola

      August 22, 2020 at 7:24 am

      SCIENCE-SAYS:

      It isn’t an EPIDEMIC until R>1 & isn’t in decline until R<1.

      OPEN SCHOOLS ONLY When R<1!

      Reinfection-Rate R uses Random Surveilance Tests;

      Positive %'s of voluntary tests, # in hospitals & # dead/COVID19 are useless.

      #1in5over75gettingCOVID19willDIE IS NOT OK! https://t.co/759EiXzAbO

  • Ocean Joe

    August 22, 2020 at 8:43 am

    Mr. Corcoran, your charter school conflict of interest disqualifies you for your position.
    Don’t threaten our teachers.

  • DisplacedCTYankee

    August 22, 2020 at 9:04 am

    It’s hard to keep your job if you are dead. Good work, Corcoran, of encouraging young people to become teachers. Corcoran — another great appointment by Gov DeMAGA, following his Dear Leader’s lead.

  • Jen

    August 22, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    Finally, someone who is willing to push back and do what is opposite to democrats and the fear mongering of the MSM. I’m thankful for DeSantis and Corcoran and that my family lives in Tampa!

    • Helen rose

      August 23, 2020 at 2:31 am

      ScreW you scumbag

    • Helen rose

      August 23, 2020 at 2:34 am

      I hope you live free like Herman Cain btw. RIP

  • PeterH

    August 22, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    Teachers can go anywhere in Florida and find another job when they feel comfortable and ready to return to work.

    The opposite is NOT TRUE. Educators do not grow on palm trees. Teachers are special. Most States require a masters degree and most states are not paying educators enough money. Educators are not glorified babysitters ….. they are highly trained, skilled professionals.

  • DavidN

    August 23, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    How many of those 65% of parents / students “choosing” to return to brick-and-mortar schools could not choose the digital options?

    My wife and I both work outside the home, cannot telecommute/work from home, and cannot stay home with our son. How many families are in that situation?

    Districts are buying devices and are trying to work with local internet providers, but that still does not guarantee full-day digital access (with video streaming) for families in rural areas and for families living in older neighborhoods where the internet infrastructure is not sufficient to provide the speeds, bandwidth, and reliability needed for digital schooling.

    I would like to know how many parents are choosing to return as opposed to having no choice but to return.

  • Gigi

    August 23, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    There are 26 Florida schools already with positive cases and 154 pending, and 342 individuals quarantined. Great way to start the school year. Mr. Corcoran you’re FIRED!

    • DavidN

      August 23, 2020 at 9:21 pm

      Do you have a link for a source for those data? I’d love to share it.

  • Earl D Hershberger

    August 24, 2020 at 9:41 am

    Maybe him and the others who think this is good to put Teachers in danger, should be fully responsible to pay all there bills, medical, rent, food, taxes until they are well enough to go back to work if they should pass away from the Virus they should have to pay the families they rest of there lives. They would sure think differently when they talk.

Comments are closed.


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