- President Donald Trump has chosen former Florida Lt. Governor Frank Brogan, who served under former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, as assistant secretary of elementary and secondary education under U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
- Brogan has a solid history of public school educational experience, having served previously as a teacher, principal and superintendent in Florida’s Martin County; as commissioner of education in Florida for five years, as president of Florida Atlantic University, and as chancellor of Florida's state higher education system and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education until he recently retired from that post.
- Brogan also has a track record of supporting policies that favor higher academic standards, supporting tax dollars for private schools, and trimming state education departments while demanding dollars for education in areas he felt it was needed.
Brogan seems like a logical fit for this position under DeVos, as his past policy decisions seem much in line with her own. As Florida chief of education, he pushed for higher academic standards at schools, even without laws from the state legislature demanding that level of performance. He served as a Republican education chief in Florida under Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles, helping him lead the state to educational reform. Under Brogan, the state wiped out many of its older education laws and brought in more flexible ones in their place.
Fiscally, Brogan proved himself to be an advocate both of financial reform and of support for public education. He supported a state voucher system parents could use to subsidize tuition payments to private schools. He also proposed the elimination of 350 jobs from the 1,500-person state department of education. At the time, he defined the state’s role in education as “fulfilling only those functions that can't be carried out as well or better at the district or school level," and was also quoted as saying, "Our education system is still mired in too much red tape that has no positive impact on teaching and learning."
On the other hand, in the wake of an influx of 80,000 students into the Florida educational system, Brogan demanded that the governor’s education budget be increased by $240 million and told legislators that it was their job to come up with the money.
Brogan seems to be an experienced educator with a track record of reaching across political divides to accomplish educational reforms he sees as beneficial. Though everyone may not agree with all of his perspectives or policies, he seems to at least have earned the respect of educators in a variety of positions and has the experience needed to help lead the nation’s education policies.