Mr. Riordan, 75, was first elected mayor of Los Angeles in 1993 and served eight years in that job. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Mr. Riordan, a fellow Republican, as state education secretary in November 2003.
“With Dick’s help, we have been able to increase spending on education, encourage innovation in public schools, push for more local control, [and] guarantee greater equality in school funding,” the governor said in a statement.
State Superintendent of Education Jack O’Connell, the former Democrat lawmaker who holds the nonpartisan elected schools chief’s post, also praised Mr. Riordan. “He has devoted his life to improving education and making life better for children in Los Angeles and around the state,” Mr. O’Connell said in a statement.
Mr. Riordan, a successful lawyer who founded the Riordan Foundation in 1981 to help schools improve reading instruction, plans to stay in office until June 30, when the governor hopes to name a successor.