Gov. Ron DeSantis will recommend Miami Republican state Sen. Manny Díaz to become the state’s next Education Commissioner, his office announced Thursday.
Díaz, the vice president for financial affairs at Doral College, a school affiliated with and paid by charter schools and charter school management companies, has long been an influential voice in the Legislature over education policy.
“Manny Díaz has done a great job in the Legislature on education issues ranging from teacher pay to parental rights and choice,” DeSantis said in a released statement. “I am confident that he will serve our state well as the Commissioner of Education.”
DeSantis’ move is technically only a recommendation to the State Board of Education, which must approve the next Commissioner. But since the board is appointed by DeSantis, it’s highly unlikely they’ll go against his recommendation.
If approved, Díaz will replace Richard Corcoran, a former Republican House Speaker who said last month he’d resign at the end of April. The Board of Education’s next meeting is scheduled for May 11, but it’s unclear if they’ll approve Díaz at that time. Corcoran currently earns $284,280 per year in the role.
Díaz has a master’s degree in education from Nova Southeastern University and was first elected to the House in 2012 before moving to the Senate in 2018. He has previously chaired education committees and led the push for legislation to expand voucher programs and loosen oversight of charter schools.
“It is an honor to be recommended by Gov. DeSantis to serve as the Education Commissioner,” Díaz said in a released statement. “For my entire career I have worked to improve the education system to serve Florida’s students, parents and teachers. I am excited to get to work continuing the mission of the Governor to make Florida the Education State.”