Membership announced for Florida House education committee, subcommittees
Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran on Monday released the rosters of all 2016-18 session committees and subcommittees. Many new names appear on the lists, in keeping with the large turnover of representatives. But some key figures return in important education spots.
Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah, will chair PreK-12 Appropriations after emerging from a tougher than expected election in which the Florida Education Association targeted him for defeat. Diaz, a former school administrator who works for a charter school company, has led the effort in recent years to strengthen charter schools and other choice programs.
Rep. Chris Latvala, R-Clearwater and son of the powerful Senate appropriations chairman, will chair PreK-12 Innovation, while Rep. Jake Raburn, R-Lithia, will chair PreK-12 Quality, a newly created subcommittee. Raburn, deputy majority whip in the previous session, has a background in agriculture and farming, and is the son of educators.
Rep. Elizabeth Porter, R-Lake City, will oversee Post-Secondary Education, and Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, will chair Higher Education Appropriations.
Notable newcomers to the committees include Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Naples, whose wife Erika heads the Florida Coalition of School Board Members, a conservative alternative to the Florida School Boards Association; and Rep. Jason Fischer, R-Jacksonville, a former Duval School Board member who also helped form the Florida Coalition of School Board Members.