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Celebrating Educators and Quality Public Education

Have you or a member of your community made a positive impact on public education? Has your involvement (or your colleagues’ involvement) in local politics or human & civil rights made a difference? CTA recognizes educators and members of the community who promote quality public education, and impact their students and community. 

Awards include effective communications by and for local chapters, excellence in public education media coverage, strong social justice and human rights work and more. 

Educational scholarship grants offer financial support to CTA members and their dependents throughout the academic year. 

Scholarships & Grants

The CTA Institute for Teaching has established a competitive strength-based grant program for CTA members and chapters to demonstrate what teachers can do when they have the freedom to create and invent. The grant application process is open to individual CTA members, small teams of educators and affiliated local chapters. Applications can be submitted online from December through March. The awards are announced in July. 

Competitive educator grants will be awarded in amounts up to $5,000. 

Competitive impact grants will be awarded in amounts up to $20,000. 

The LGBTQ+ Safety in Schools Grant and Scholarship Program in Honor of Guy DeRosa was created to promote human and civil rights by making our public schools safe for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning+ persons. The program was renamed in 2009 in the memory of CTA member and educator Guy DeRosa. Guy was a lifelong advocate for civil and human rights and LGBTQ+ issues.

  • The grant program will support groups, projects and presentations that promote understanding of and respect for LGBTQ+ persons. 
  • The scholarship program will support self-identified LGBTQ+ active CTA/CTA Aspiring Educators members enrolled in a teacher/counseling credential or graduate program who are pursuing a career in public education and who understand the importance of LGBTQ+ educators as role models in our public schools.

The CTA Scholarship for Dependent Children offers a maximum of 35 scholarships of up to $5,000 each. 

  • One scholarship is provided in Honor of Ralph J. Flynn and is awarded to the highest-scoring applicant. 
  • One scholarship is provided in Honor of Ruthie Fagerstrom and is awarded to the second highest-scoring applicant.
  •  One scholarship is provided in Honor of Susan B. Anthony and is awarded to the third highest-scoring applicant. 

The CTA Scholarship in Honor of Del A. Weber offers one scholarship of up to $5,000 to a dependent child of an active member of CTA, CTA/NEA-Retired or deceased CTA member who is attending or attended a continuation high school or an alternative education program. 

The CTA Scholarship for Members offers a maximum of five scholarships of up to $3,000 each. 

  • One scholarship is designated as the American Indian/Alaska Native Memorial Scholarship in Honor of Alice Piper and is awarded to the highest-scoring member applicant. 
  • One scholarship is designated for an ESP member who wants to transition into the teaching profession, provided an ESP member applies. 

* CTA Aspiring Educators Scholarship in Honor of L. Gordon Bittle offers a maximum of three scholarships of up to $5,000 each. 

  • One scholarship is designated as the Pacific Asian American Scholarship in Honor of Philip Vera Cruz and is awarded to the highest scoring CTA Aspiring Educators applicant.

* Formerly known as Student CTA (SCTA)

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship Program encourages Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students to become educators, school nurses, school counselors or school therapists and to promote professional growth for BIPOC teachers and Education Support Professionals (ESP) members.

Each year CTA AE Scholarships recognizes the contributions of our members, chapters and advisors. CTA AE Awards are presented at the CTA AE Representative Assembly (the annual business meeting of the association) each spring.

Individual Award Categories include the CTA AE W.H.O. (We Honor Ours) Award, the Outstanding Chapter Advisor(s), L. Gordon Bittle Memorial Scholarship for CTA Aspiring Educators (CTA AE), and the  Virginia Ann Shadwick Human Rights Award. The Chapter Award Categories include awards for Outstanding Local Chapter and Chapter Membership Recognition.

For more information, contact CTA Aspiring Educators at



Applications for 2024 scholarships will open soon.

Please check back for more information.

In July of 2021, CTA/NEA-Retired member Gloria Pedretti reached out to CTA/NEA-Retired, wanting to help potential educators in their credential preparation journey and willing to provide a generous donation in order to make this happen. Together, we created the Gloria Pedretti Credential Candidate Scholarship.


The Human Rights Awards are given annually to CTA members, chapters and service center councils to celebrate the diversity of racial equity and social justice work that CTA members create, challenge and participate in. From creating safer spaces and environments for their students and school sites, to programs that help address needs of the whole child, our Human Rights Awards awardees are inspiring.

The CTA César E. Chávez and Dolores Huerta Education Awards Program provides recognition for educators and their students who demonstrate an understanding of the vision and guiding principles embraced by César Chávez and Dolores Huerta.

The Communications Awards Program is designed to encourage CTA chapters, service centers and UniServs to communicate with their members as well as to recognize and honor those who are communicating regularly and effectively.

Named after the founder of CTA and the state’s fourth superintendent of public instruction, the John Swett Awards for Media Excellence are CTA’s highest honor for media professionals, and recognize outstanding coverage of education.

Named for the late CTA Political Consultant Ted Bass, the Members-in-Politics Award recognizes an outstanding teacher in politics for his/her contribution to the education profession through political action.

As a tribute to the late Joyce Fadem, Director of CTA’s Governmental Relations, the Chapter-in-Politics Award recognizes outstanding chapters for their contributions to the education profession through political action.

The CTA State Gold Awards recognize individuals or organizations whose leadership, acts, and support have indicated they are true friends of public education.

Additional Grants and Awards

NEA Grants and Awards

The National Education Foundation awards around 200 grants to support educators’ efforts to close achievement gaps, develop creative learning opportunities for students, and enhance their own professional development. 

CTA offers conference incentive grants multiple times a year to attend our statewide conferences. Various grants are available for small chapters, ethnic minority members and new members.