Public education professionals in Colorado, unlike many other states, are free to join or not to join an employee organization. There are various unions and professional associations from which teachers can choose, including the following:
Professional Association of Colorado Educators
American Federation of Teachers, Local 858
Colorado Education Association
Christian Educators Association International
Teachers Legal Coverage
Homeowners Insurance Plans and School District Employee Coverage
Teachers also may consider pursuing one or more variations of the local-only union option.
The Professional Association of Colorado Educators (PACE) is a new state-based affiliate of the Association of American Educators (AAE) as of July 2007. AAE is the largest national non-union professional association, offering many of the same benefits that other teacher organizations provide—but at a fraction of the cost. AAE provides professional liability insurance, legal protection and professional development resources but without getting involved in partisan politics and controversial issues. In fact, AAE will never support or endorse any political advocacy, candidacy or cause.
PACE is the premier professional teachers’ association that advances the profession through personal growth, professional development, teacher advocacy and protection, as well as promoting educational excellence, so that its members receive the respect, recognition and reward they deserve. Professional membership is $180 per year, with options available for students, retired educators, and associate members ($25 each). Contact PACE for more information on membership benefits.
Professional Association of Colorado Educators
9800 Mount Pyramid Court, Suite 400
Englewood, CO 80112
Toll Free: 877-640-7223 (PACE)
The American Federation of Teachers was founded in 1916 to represent the economic, social and professional interests of classroom teachers. It is an affiliated international union of the AFL-CIO. The AFT has more than 3,000 local affiliates nationwide, 43 state affiliates, and more than 1.3 million members. AFT Colorado was organized as the Colorado Federation of Teachers, and was chartered October 26, 1946.
The vision of AFT Colorado is a federation of locals in which all members join together to pursue professional, political, and social issues that benefit their personal lives, their communities, and the institutions in which they work. Through political action and the bargaining process AFT Colorado promotes the issues of secure employment, a living wage, dignity in the workplace, equality of opportunity for advancement and improvement of standard of living.
AFT Colorado funds and supports campaigns to elect lawmakers and school board members, to fund 527 political committees, and to pass local (mill levy and bond) and state ballot issues. Members are eligible to request an annual $3 refund by contacting AFT Colorado directly.
Contact AFT Colorado for more information on membership costs and benefits.
The Colorado Education Association (CEA), stands for reducing class sizes, making schools safer, securing technology resources, and increasing school funding. Local associations advocate at the local school board, while full-time lobbyists work at the Legislature and in Congress, along with member lobbyists from local affiliates. Full-time professional members pay $532 in combined dues to CEA and the National Education Association (NEA), with additional dues costs varying for local associations.
The CEA funds and supports campaigns to elect lawmakers and school board members, to fund 527 political committees, and to pass local (mill levy and bond) and state ballot issues. Each member’s refundable $39 Every Member Option contributes to the CEA’s political activities. No political contributions to the NEA are refundable.
Contact CEA directly for more information on membership costs and benefits.
Christian Educators Association International (CEAI) is a leader in promoting the rights of religious persons in public education and in providing benefits for educators (including professional liability insurance). Their mission is to serve the educational community by encouraging, equipping and empowering Christian educators in public and private education.
CEAI is on the leading edge of encouraging Christians to be “Salt and Light” in public education, promoting the Declaration for Public Education which encourages the local church and community to be an active participant and supporter of public schools, and a return to Judeo-Christian values which promote character education and core values.
There is no Colorado CEAI chapter, but teachers can join the national organization. Annual membership for full-time education employees is $139. Different rates are available for part-time employees, husband and wife joint membership discounts, and college students. Contact CEAI for more information on membership benefits.
Teachers Legal Coverage (TLC) provides educators with superior legal protection services, employment security and liability coverage. TLC provides teachers with affordable, proactive and assertive legal representation services. TLC advocates for teacher professionalism, support and school safety.
TLC is “a positive alternative to the teachers union.” The current rate for TLC membership is $35 a month, or $420 a year.
HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE PLANS
Check with your insurance agent about adding liability coverage to your homeowners’ policy.
SCHOOL DISTRICT EMPLOYEE COVERAGE
Check with your school district about liability coverage that your employer may have already purchased.
This information made available as a service of the Independence Institute’s Education Policy Center. If we have omitted any membership options available to Colorado educators or have posted any inaccurate or outdated information, please let us know so we can take care to update our pages.