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We Know About Teaching and Learning in California

We believe our public schools are worth fighting for. That belief has guided our union since 1863. Today, we’re still just as dedicated in the fight for equal access, justice and resources for all of California’s students, educators and classrooms.

The unified voice of educators in California’s public schools and colleges, CTA is a powerful and passionate advocate for students and public education. Our 310,000 members support and nurture all students in classrooms every day, preparing them to be the leaders of tomorrow.  And, as the largest affiliate in the 3-million member National Education Association, our voice is heard in the halls of our Capitol in Washington, D.C. 

Together and throughout our history, CTA has worked to improve the conditions of teaching and learning in California. Our members include teachers, counselors, psychologists, librarians, Education Support Professionals and other non-supervisory certificated personnel in our public schools and colleges. We have more than 1,100 local chapters in school districts throughout California. We are CTA.

A Legacy of Unity, Service and Pride

Our 310,000 members  are united in our dedication to all students and committed to our craft and advocacy for public education as the bedrock of our democracy.

Since 1863, CTA has fought for the schools all students deserve and the resources all educators need. Our first major victory was a win for all Californians when CTA worked with elected officials to pass a law in 1866 establishing a free public education system in California. One year later, CTA secured public funding for schools that educated students of color. This was the beginning of a long and vibrant legacy of fighting for equity, lifting up the voices of those often unheard, winning resources for schools and students, and advocating for the craft of education. 

Our fight for fully resourced schools, opportunity for all students, support for educators and respect for the profession continues today, with CTA members working in classrooms, neighborhoods and the halls of the State Capitol to defend and advance public education. As we face the challenges of tomorrow, CTA will continue to organize in our communities and partner with the public to advocate for our public schools and our students. 

Our Mission

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 for all students; to ensure that the human dignity and civil rights of all children, youth and adults are protected; and to secure a more just, equitable, and democratic society.

Our Governing Structure

CTA is the largest democratic, member-driven organization in the state, with more than 1,100 chapters statewide. These local chapters elect the near-800 delegates of the State Council of Education, CTA’s top policy-making body. Meeting four times a year, the State Council sets the vision of our union, takes positions on relevant legislation, makes recommendations in state and federal elections, and elects the three executive officers and 21-member board of directors, who implement that policy and provide direction to nearly 400 CTA staff. 


Through our Executive Officers, Board of Directors, State Council delegates, Committees, Liaisons, Caucuses and the NEA Representative Assembly, CTA member-leaders are elected to advocate on behalf of the 310,000 educators of California.

Meet Our Members

Our members are 310,000 classroom teachers, education support professionals, student support services professionals, aspiring and retired educators, and higher education faculty and staff.

CTA Foundation for Teaching and Learning

The CTA Foundation for Teaching and Learning combines three areas of support to CTA members: scholarships and grants, Institute for Teaching and the Disaster Relief Fund.

Our Strategic Plan

To support our educators’ passion and dedication to teaching and learning, CTA embarked on the journey of building a long-term strategic plan to carry our union into the future. 

“Our Union, Our Future” is about listening to and engaging all members, advocating for our students, leading our profession, reaching out into our communities and working toward a just society for all.

Organizational Handbook

The CTA Organizational Handbook is an accurate record of all policy binding upon the governance structure of CTA adopted by the State Council of Education. It is used by the Board of Directors, officers, staff (including legislative advocates), liaisons and other bodies of the Association for reference in reflecting the policies of CTA. The main sections of the Organizational Handbook include CTA’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, Standing Rules, Policies and Procedures.

Annual Report and Year in Review

Our Annual Report covers the incredible work our CTA community has done to support the public education all students deserve for each fiscal year, as well as how we financed the work needed to implement our strategic plan. The Year in Review is a visual component to showcase photos, images and graphics to support the Annual Report.

Work With Us

Because we know that good employees are critical to our success, we look for experienced people who are inspired by our mission, CTA employs a statewide staff spread out in dozens of offices across California.

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