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Awards for Teaching Excellence

Awards to USA Teachers to Recognize
Excellence in Public Education

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The National Education Association (NEA) Foundation

Deadline Date:



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Awards to USA public school educators who are members of the funding source association to recognize and reward excellence in teaching. This prestigious award program promotes advocacy for the profession and honors public education and the dedicated members of the sponsoring association. Criteria for national awards include professional practice, advocacy for the profession, attention to diversity, community engagement, and leadership in professional development.

The Awards for Teaching Excellence program recognizes educators from around the country who shine in their schools, their communities, and their own learning. These educators advocate for each other, the profession, and students, and they embrace the diversity of their communities and the wider world.

Each year, all NEA state, federal, and direct affiliates are invited to nominate one outstanding educator for the NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence.

Affiliate Level:

Each affiliate determines its own best process for selecting its awardee, and submits a single awardee’s name and qualifications to the NEA Foundation, consistent with the criteria described below. The state selection process can be based on the process used at the national level or any alternative that reflects due diligence.

State leadership may also consider nominating the recipient of another local, district, state, and national award—including subject specific awards, advocacy awards, or national awards like the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Math Teaching, provided that the awardee is a NEA member.

National Level:

The national selection panel chooses the five recipients of the Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence from among the affiliate awardees. The panelists are appointed by the President and CEO of the NEA Foundation and the President of the NEA.

The Horace Mann awardees will be invited for personal interviews with the national selection panel in August 2018 and, based on these interviews, the NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence recipient will be chosen.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 151602

Number of Grants:

1 State Affiliate Award in each state, 5 Horace Mann Awards, and 1 NEA Member Benefits Award

Estimated Size of Grant:

Each State Affiliate Awardee will get an all expense paid trip to Washington for the Gala, along with a guest; five educators will be chosen for the Horace Mann Awards and will receive $10,000 each; one of the Horace Mann finalists will be awarded an additional $25,000 and a commemorative gift.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All current members of an NEA local affiliate or bargaining unit are eligible, including teachers, education support professionals (school nurses, security guards, para-educators, custodial staff, office workers, food providers, etc.), and higher education faculty. NEA state affiliates, the Federal Education Association, and direct affiliates may each submit one nomination per year. Only nominations submitted and endorsed by one of these affiliates will be considered.

The NEA Foundation does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. NEAF encourages NEA state leaders to consider awardees who reflect the diversity among NEA members.

Pre-Application Information:

All affiliate nominations must be submitted via the Foundation's online application system, which is open between September and May 1. The Foundation will notify all awardees of their status by the end of August 2018.

Affiliate representatives can complete the application online or the awardee can complete the application by using the affiliate's unique link and password.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Access the online nomination form here:

Grant Inquiries:
Annelise Cohon

The NEA Foundation
1201 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036

T. 202-822-7840
F. 202-822-7779

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming