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NEA salutes winners of 2009 Broad Prize for Urban Education

WASHINGTON - September 24, 2009 -

Since 2002, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has awarded $2 million to five large urban school districts that demonstrate the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement, while reducing income and ethnic achievement gaps. Each year one district is awarded $1 million, and four finalists each receive $250,000 to be used for college scholarships. 

With the announcement last week of its 2009 prize winners, the nation’s largest K–12 public education award is once again celebrating the hard work, commitment, and success of public education employees and students.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

“I’m sure I speak on behalf of the 3.2 million members of the NEA when I say ‘congratulations’ and ‘job well done’ on this well-deserved recognition and $250,000 prize to Florida’s Broward County Public Schools, Georgia’s Gwinnett County Public Schools, California’s Long Beach Unified School District and Texas’ Socorro Independent School District.  NEA also congratulates The Aldine Independent School District in Texas on winning the $1 million prize.

“We educators know that while achievement and ethnic gaps present great challenges in public education—especially in urban areas—there are many instances where these challenges are being met head on, and indeed, even being overcome!  Despite the naysayers, there is lots of good news in public education; our schools are succeeding and our kids are achieving.” 

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Stacey Grissom  (202) 822-7823,