Virginia Education Secretary Gerard Robinson is one of five finalists to head Florida’s education system.

Florida’s State Board of Education is interviewing the finalists Monday in Tampa.

Robinson was chosen from among 26 applicants.

The other finalists include: Former New Jersey commissioner Bret Schundler; Stacia Smith, who heads an education center in Ohio; Florida Career and Adult Education Chancellor Loretta Costin; and Thomas Jandris, vice president and dean of graduate programs at Concordia College in Chicago.

Robinson, who was appointed to Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell’s Cabinet last year, was asked to apply.

“Secretary Robinson is a talented individual with a  record of results in instituting positive education reforms in the Commonwealth and nationally,’’ McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said. “It certainly makes sense that Florida officials would like to speak further with him.”

The former Florida education commissioner, Eric Smith, resigned under pressure from Gov. Rick Scott (R). The Florida job carries more power and money than the one in Richmond.