The National Education Association named Gov. Mark Dayton this year’s America’s Greatest Education Governor.

“I am very honored to receive this award from teachers across America,” Dayton told NEA members at the reception in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.  “As a former public school teacher, I know how challenging their jobs are.  I promised that my administration would make education and jobs my highest priorities.  This award shows we’re making progress.”

Dayton also endeared himself to the NEA this year by vetoing a bill that would have overturned the state’s tenure-based system for teacher layoffs, and by pushing to allow daycare workers to unionize.

“Gov. Dayton has repeatedly stood strong for Minnesota’s students and schools,”  NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said in a statement. “He has kept his promise to make education a top priority of his administration by increasing education funding and focusing on our earliest learners. We are pleased to honor Gov. Dayton with the America’s Greatest Education Governor Award. We are grateful for his continued commitment to students and the education professionals who work in schools and classrooms.”