Who We Are
The Colorado Education Association is a voluntary membership organization of 40,000 K-12 teachers and education support professionals, higher education faculty and support professionals, students preparing to become teachers, and retired educators.
For more than 135 years, our mission has been to promote quality public education and to advocate for the professional interests of public education employees. Our organization’s work focuses on four strategic goals:
- Organizational Effectiveness - Build a strong and resilient infrastructure that promotes and supports the achievement of CEA's mission and maximizes our human and capital resources;
- System Transformation - Position CEA as a leader in the transformation of the public education system to meet the 21st Century needs of students;
- Student Achievement - Create a teaching and learning environment that helps prepare students for a successful transition into the global society and economy;
- School Funding - Achieve sustainable funding for a quality, 21st Century public education system.
CEA is a state affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA), America's oldest and largest organization dedicated to advancing the cause of public education. Founded in 1857, NEA proudly claims 3.2 million members who work at every level of education, from pre-schools to universities. NEA has affiliates in all states, as well as in 13,000 towns and cities across the U.S.
Our organization has three levels: Local Associations, CEA, and NEA. Members in Colorado communities are organized as 200 CEA-NEA local associations. Locals are grouped into 19 geographic areas called UniServ Units. Local Associations are governed by people our members elect: officers and Association Representatives.
Each UniServ unit has a UniServ Director, professional staff member, and an associate staff member who manages the UniServ office. Both staff support the locals by working directly with leaders and members. Funding for UniServ units to employ staff, have an office, and conduct programs is provided by members' dues, with CEA and NEA returning a portion of state and national dues to each UniServ Unit. UniServ Units are governed by UniServ Councils.
CEA policy is determined by the Delegate Assembly, CEA's top policy-making body. Delegate Assembly is 600 members elected by fellow members, meeting annually in April. The CEA Board of Directors sets policy and provides direction for CEA between Delegate Assemblies.
NEA's top policy-making body is the Representative Assembly, nearly 10,000 delegates elected by fellow members and meeting every July. The NEA Board of Directors sets policy between Representative Assemblies. Colorado has three members who serve as NEA Directors on the NEA Board.
CEA employs staff who work in the headquarters office in Denver and in UniServ units.
Association membership is open only to public education employees:
- Active Members: K-12 teachers including substitute teachers; education support professionals (ESP); higher education faculty; K-12 building principals
- Student Members: Students in college and university teacher preparation programs
- Retired Members: All retired education employees