Soon after Beshear’s office distributed a release about the announcement, his re-election campaign sent out emails noting the award and seeking campaign contributions.
NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said in a statement that Beshear has “fought to preserve resources” for the state’s students and classrooms in the midst of budget cuts.
He also said Kentucky has moved into the Top 20 in the United States in fourth-grade and eight-grade reading scores during Beshear’s term and that he has signed legislation to make it easier for higher education students to transfer credits from a community or technical college to any of Kentucky’s four-year universities.
Beshear, a Democrat, said he is “very pleased our efforts are being honored.”
NEA officials are to present the award to Beshear on Sunday before nearly 9,000 educators at the NEA’s Representative Assembly in Chicago.
Beshear is the fouth recipient of the NEA award.
He will face Republican David Williams, president of the state Senate, in November’s general election. Lexington attorney Gatewood Galbraith is trying to get on the November ballot as an independent candidate.