California Governor Jerry Brown today received the National Education Association’s “America’s Greatest Education Governor Award” during the Association’s Representative Assembly. The annual award recognizes governors who have demonstrated exemplary achievements and accomplishments in advancing public education.
“When times got tough in California, Gov. Brown resisted the temptation to balance the state’s budget on the backs of students and educators,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “Instead, he made the tough choices and the right decisions, investing in and strengthening public education and helping students and families who need the most support. His approach to governing the Golden State is refreshing at a time when many politicians across the country are doing the opposite of what Gov. Brown is doing.”
“Nothing is more determinative of our future than how we teach our children,” said Governor Brown. “It's an honor to accept this award on behalf of the educators working every day to make our public schools better and our future brighter.”
Van Roekel said Gov. Brown is leaning in when it comes to carrying out his education agenda—investing smartly in public schools and boldly calling for less reliance on high-stakes standardized testing, a position welcomed by educators and parents. The governor’s Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget calls for robust investments for K-12 students, funds to implement the state’s “common core” standards in English and Math, and college grants for middle class families.
“Students and families will reap the benefits of Gov. Brown’s initiatives for years to come,” said Van Roekel. “The state and our country will be stronger and more competitive as a result of the choices he’s making today.”
Gov. Brown also secured two key victories for education and students. He championed the most sweeping changes to the way the state funds its public schools in a century. Schools that serve low-income and non-native English speakers will benefit from Brown’s new funding formula. This victory came a few months after he successfully engineered a ballot initiative to refuel funding for the state’s public schools.
“As educators, we’re very proud to honor Gov. Brown for his unwavering support of public education and students,” said Van Roekel. “He’s earned this accolade, as well as the respect and admiration of the Association’s 3 million educators.”
NEA created the “America's Greatest Education Governor Award” in 2008 to annually recognize and honor governors who have made major strides at the state level to improve public schools. Other recipients of the award include, Governors Martin O’Malley of Maryland, Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Michael F. Easley of North Carolina.
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The National Education Association (nea.org) is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.