Manny Diaz Jr. confirmed as Florida’s next education commissioner – Tampa Bay Times

by | Apr 30, 2022 | Education

TALLAHASSEE — The State Board of Education on Friday confirmed Manny Diaz Jr., a Republican lawmaker from Hialeah and staunch school choice advocate, as Florida’s next education commissioner.The 49-year-old will take the helm of the state Department of Education on June 1. Diaz said he plans to keep his “foot on the pedal” on many education issues that Gov. Ron DeSantis and outgoing education commissioner Richard Corcoran have prioritized in the last four years.“We can’t be complacent,” Diaz said. “The best defense is to go on offense. We should always be on offense, looking to improve the lives of the students of the state.”Diaz will come in as the state Department of Education prepares to implement several contentious measures approved by Republican lawmakers earlier this year. Those include an overhaul of the state’s K-12 testing system, which Diaz says is a priority of his, and potential changes to instruction in grades four to 12 on issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.Related: The ‘don’t say gay’ bill DeSantis just signed, explainedDeSantis said the Department of Education will be giving input soon on what instruction would be considered “age-appropriate” for older grades on those topics. In an interview earlier this year, Diaz said he would conduct a “full review” of curriculum in those grades and “lay it out” for the Legislature for possible legislative action.DeSantis had stronger words, when he was asked about future action, during a Fox News “Town Hall” on Thursday evening. He said, the “Florida Department of Education will be putting some meat on the bones” of Florida’s new “Parental Rights in Education” law, which critics have called the “don’t say gay” bill.A look at Diaz’s backgroundRelated: Meet DeSantis’ pick for education commissioner: M …

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