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Council of the Great City Schools Awards Its Dr. Michael Casserly Legacy Award for Educational Courage and Justice

The Council of the Great City Schools Awards Its Dr. Michael Casserly Legacy Award for Educational Courage and Justice

The annual award, sponsored by Curriculum Associates, recognizes an individual who has made remarkable contributions to urban education at the K–12 grade levels.

Washington D.C., May 8, 2024

The Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS) has named Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as the 2024 recipient of the Dr. Michael Casserly Legacy Award for Educational Courage and Justice. The annual award, which is sponsored by Curriculum Associates and named after the Council’s former executive director, recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of urban education across Grades K–12. Sen. Schumer is recognized for his courageous and passionate advocacy and work on issues relating to educational justice and equity.

Sen. Schumer has been a member of Congress since 1981 and has served in the United States Senate since 1999. Throughout his Congressional career, Sen. Schumer has demonstrated a commitment to increasing the quality of education, starting with our nation’s youngest students, and decreasing cost burdens in higher education.

He played a major role in championing support for Head Start, a national early childhood education support program that provides support for early education, social, emotional and nutritional health, and social services for children with disabilities. Additionally, Sen. Schumer led the charge in expanding the child tax credit under the American Rescue Plan, providing up to $3,600 per child to families to help with future educational attainment.

“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 Ray Hart, Council executive director. “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 [Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief] 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 [that] have made a huge difference in the lives of millions of America’s schoolchildren.”

Sen. Schumer is the fourth recipient of the Dr. Michael Casserly Legacy Award for Educational Courage and Justice. Casserly received the inaugural award in 2021, Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) in 2022, and Dr. Lily Wong Fillmore in 2023.

“We are honored to sponsor this award and partner with the Council to recognize and uplift our country’s educational leaders,” said Linda DuBois, manager of strategic partnerships at Curriculum Associates. “Throughout his decades of public service, Senator Schumer has helped support the advancement of key urban education priorities for students [in] Grades Pre-K–12, cementing his status as a champion for educational equity.”

To learn more about the Council, visit To learn more about Curriculum Associates, visit

About CGCS
It is the special mission of America’s urban public schools to educate the nation’s most diverse student body to the highest academic standards and prepare them to contribute to our democracy and global community. The Council brings together 78 of the nation’s largest urban public school systems in a coalition dedicated to the improvement of public education for our nation’s urban public school children. See

About Curriculum Associates
Founded in 1969, Curriculum Associates, LLC designs research-based print and online instructional materials, screens and assessments, and data management tools. The company’s products and outstanding customer service provide teachers and administrators with the resources necessary for teaching diverse student populations and fostering learning for all students.