Council Honors Longtime Senator Chuck Schumer

  • U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is the recipient of the 2024 Dr. Michael Casserly Legacy Award for Educational Courage and Justice. Sponsored by Curriculum Associates, the award, named after the Council of the Great City Schools’ former executive director, is presented annually to a person who has made outstanding contributions in the field of K–12 urban education by taking courageous and passionate stances on the issues of educational justice and equity.

    Schumer was recently presented with the award at his office in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. The senator is the fourth person to receive the award; the first person was Michael Casserly himself.

    Schumer has served as a member of the U.S. Senate since 1999 and, in 2021, became the first New Yorker to serve as Senate Majority Leader. As majority leader, he ushered landmark legislation through the Senate including the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which provided more than $40 billion in supplemental COVID-relief funding to the 77 member school districts that represent the Council, as part of the $122.8 billion provided under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund.

    “This long-overdue award goes this year to Senator Charles Schumer for his outstanding leadership during the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in protecting federal funding for the nation’s major city public school systems,” said Casserly. “His courage and sense of justice ensured that resources remained targeted on our urban schoolchildren. The futures of millions of children benefitted from his advocacy. I am proud that Senator Schumer was selected to receive my namesake award. No one is more deserving.”

    “The efforts of Senate Majority Leader Schumer have paid enormous dividends for the nation’s urban public schools,” said Council Executive Director Ray Hart. “A recent report by Harvard and Stanford University researchers revealed that urban school districts outpaced national pandemic academic recovery rates in reading, math or both, proof that the ESSER investment in our schools is working. The Council owes Senator Schumer a great deal of gratitude for the passage of this historic infusion of federal funds which have made a huge difference in the lives of millions of America’s schoolchildren.”

    Majority Leader Schumer is an alumni of the New York City public school system; having graduated as valedictorian in 1967 from James Madison High School in Brooklyn, NY.