The California Teachers Association was founded in 1863 by John Swett, the state's fourth superintendent of public instruction. His call for a "teachers' institute" led to the California Educational Society, which became the California Teachers Association in 1907.
"The California Teachers Association exists to protect and promote the well-being of its members; to improve the conditions of teaching and learning; to advance the cause of free, universal, and quality public education; to ensure that the human dignity and civil rights of all children and youth are protected; and to secure a more just, equitable, and democratic society."
CTA is California's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 325,000 public school teachers, counselors, psychologists, librarians, other non-supervisory certificated personnel, and Education Support Professionals. It is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.
More than 1,100 chapters are chartered as CTA affiliates. Two unique CTA chapters are "statewide" affiliates: The California Faculty Association is the bargaining agent for professors in the California State University system, and the Community College Association represents members in 42 bargaining chapters who work in 72 community college districts.
CTA's top policy-making body is the State Council of Education. The council's nearly 800 delegates meet four times a year in Los Angeles. These delegates elect the three state-level CTA officers and the CTA Board of Directors.
Dean E. Vogel is an elementary school counselor from Vacaville, where his teaching career began more than three decades ago. Vogel has taught all elementary grades, including kindergarten, and has trained counselors and student teachers.
Eric C. Heins is an elementary school teacher, with over 20 years of experience advocating for the education profession at the local, state, and national levels. He is has trained educators on human rights and diversity issues.
Mikki Cichocki-Semo is a veteran educator with more than 23 years of experience in public education. Cichoki-Semo has taught students ranging from kindergarten through middle school, with an emphasis on helping traditional and at-risk students.
Carolyn Doggett heads CTA's staff. Before taking that post in 1995, she was the deputy executive director of CTA. She taught in public schools for many years, first in California and then 12 years in Alaska, where she was twice president of NEA-Alaska.
PROGRAMS AND STAFF:
Headquartered in Burlingame in San Mateo County, CTA employs a statewide staff of some 500 people spread out in dozens of offices across California. Its Governmental Relations Division is based in Sacramento. Supported by CTA's legal, field, negotiations, communications and other staff, CTA members continue to have a powerful voice in today's public education issues. Members continue to shape state policies on testing, school funding, class size and other critical matters. Annual CTA conferences cover good teaching methods, human rights, and urban and rural school issues.