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Senator Patty Murray Honored as the 2013 NEA Friend of Education

U.S. Senator Patty Murray

U.S. Senator Patty Murray

Patty Murray, the senior U.S. senator from the state of Washington and chair of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, received the NEA Friend of Education Award at the 2013 NEA Representative Assembly on Wednesday.

The NEA award acknowledges Murray’s significant leadership role in pushing $25 billion for education jobs and Medicaid funding over the finish line in 2010, and recognizes her tireless advocacy in education issues such as more preschool and literacy programs, smaller class sizes and better education for homeless children.

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel praised Murray as a fearless advocate for public schools, children and families. “Her unwavering support for issues such as education, healthcare and child care shows how carefully she is listening to the hopes and dreams of America’s families,” Van Roekel said. “I am proud to call Senator Murray NEA’s Friend of Education.”

Washington Education Association President Mary Lindquist accepts the Friend of Education Award on behalf of Senator Patty Murray.

Photo by Rick Runion

Washington Education President Mary Lindquist accepted the award on behalf of Murray, who was unable to attend this year’s RA.  Lindquist called Murray a “force to be reckoned with” and an ally who has always been “our go-to senator when we need help.”

“I am so honored to receive the Friend of Education Award from the National Education Association,” Murray told the delegates in a video message. “As a former pre-school teacher, a former school board member, and a mom who actively participated in my own children’s education, I know how important education is to the future of this country. And I am proud to be your partner in the U.S. Senate.”

The Friend of Education Award, presented each year during NEA’s Representative Assembly, recognizes a person or organization whose leadership, acts or support have significantly contributed to the improvement of American public education.

Murray follows Nobel-prize winning economist Paul Krugman, who was named NEA Friend of Education in 2012. Other public officials who have received this honor include U.S. Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and William Jefferson Clinton; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall; Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.); and U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley and the late Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy (D-Mass.).


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