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Story highlights

The National Education Association is the largest labor union in the U.S.

The American Federation of Teachers also endorsed Clinton over the summer

Washington CNN —  

The nation’s largest teachers union is backing Hillary Clinton for president.

The National Education Association, which has 3 million members, announced its support Saturday for the former secretary of state. Clinton accepted the endorsement in person after speaking earlier in the day to the Human Rights Campaign in Washington.

“As a lifelong fighter for children and families, I am deeply honored to have earned the endorsement of the National Education Association and their nearly 3 million members,” Clinton said in a statement Saturday. “The teachers and educators of the NEA shape our future. NEA members work hard every day to provide the education and support our children need to grow and prosper.”

The American Federation of Teachers endorsed the Democratic front-runner in July.

Clinton highlighted her efforts helping create a new teacher recruitment program in the Senate in announcing her NEA endorsement.

“As President, I will fight to defend workers’ right to organize and unions’ right to bargain collectively, and I will ensure that teachers always have a voice and a seat at the table in making decisions that impact their work,” Clinton said.

Soon after Clinton announced the endorsement, Bernie Sanders said his support among NEA members remains strong.

“I am proud to have the support of many hundreds of thousands of members of the National Education Association and trade unionists all across America,” he said. “We are going to win this nomination and the general election because of support from grassroots Americans. We are on track to do just that.”

CNN’s Dan Merica and Cassie Spodak contributed to this report.