Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro was named a student and educator champion for her outstanding contributions to education policy and specifically her staunch advocacy for the expansion of high-quality professional learning opportunities through federal Title II-A that improve student success across the United States.

Learning Forward, the leading organization dedicated to advancing professional learning for K-12 educators, announced that Rep. DeLauro, a Democrat representing Connecticut’s Third District, is the recipient of the organization’s 2023 Policy Maker of the Year Award. The timing of honoring Rep. DeLauro coincided with Learning Forward’s Annual Conference for professional learning, taking place Dec. 3-6 in National Harbor, Maryland, with more than 3,400 education leaders, learning experts, and policy makers in attendance.

“Learning Forward’s policy maker award is a testament to Congresswoman DeLauro’s commitment to promoting excellence in education,” said Frederick Brown, Learning Forward’s president & CEO. “Throughout her distinguished career of service, she has been a vocal and effective advocate for policies that support students, teachers, school leaders, and other education team members working in school districts enhancing the quality of education in the United States.”

“It is such an honor to receive the 2023 Policy Maker of the Year Award,” Rep. DeLauro said in a video statement accepting the award. “Making investments to educate America’s children and making sure that every child has the opportunity for a bright future is one of the most important things Congress can do.”

WATCH Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro’s award acceptance here.

“As the former chair and now ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have strived to increase funding for Supporting Effective Instruction State Grant program, Title II, the largest direct investment in teacher and school leader professional learning that the federal government makes each year,” Rep. DeLauro said.

Melinda George, Learning Forward’s chief policy officer, noted Rep. DeLauro’s advocacy for educators has significantly contributed to districts and schools’ ability to create environments that foster continuous improvement in teaching practices, ultimately benefitting students. “Congresswoman DeLauro’s advocacy for increased funding for professional learning, equitable access to resources, and support for teachers in under-resourced communities is an enduring legacy and will continue to transform the education landscape and improve student success for decades to come. Federal funding is essential for this to be realized.”

George spoke Dec. 5 during the Learning Forward Annual Conference morning general session about the importance of all educators “standing up for what is needed and providing clear evidence to make your case.

“Education is under attack right now,” she told more than 2,500 session attendees. “One sign of that danger is that professional learning funding is in jeopardy, with the proposed total elimination of Title II-A, the main federal source of professional learning in the United States,” she said. “No one knows better than you that high-quality professional learning is not a nice-to-have, it’s a must have. But not everyone out there knows that, and it’s up to us to show them.”

George called Rep. DeLauro an outspoken advocate for empowering teachers and elevating the teaching profession. All educators, she said, can follow DeLauro’s example in their own communities and schools. “Don’t be afraid to tell your local newspaper or PTA about the power of professional learning. This isn’t bragging and it’s not political – it’s telling the world why this work matters for every student.”

Rep. DeLauro commended Learning Forward for its leadership in elevating standards-based professional learning as a national education priority.

“During my time serving in Congress, I have seen countless examples of strong professional learning that contributes to meeting the needs of all of our students and improves working conditions that retains teachers and leaders,” Rep. DeLauro said. “Now more than ever we need to invest in educators.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Paul, gail.paul@learningforward.org

(513) 379-8153


Learning Forward leads the field in making clear connections between high-quality professional learning and student success. As a champion for highly effective professional learning and a catalyst for change, Learning Forward demonstrates evidence and research that inform professional learning decisions. We produce, synthesize, and curate key research and reports that inform best practices. A membership association, Learning Forward provides a combination of publicly available and members-only content and professional services that assist classroom, school, and system leaders in solving their unique problems of practice. Information about the organization, including Standards for Professional Learning, membership, services, and products, is available at www.learningforward.org.