For more than a century, the Utah Education Association has been dedicated to preserving and enhancing Utah public education. The UEA represents about 18,000 active classroom teachers, retired educators, administrators, licensed educational support personnel and students in education programs at universities.
UEA is governed by a president, vice president and board of directors each elected by their peer member educators.
In the UEA, individuals elected by the membership determine the policies of the Association — and how to implement them. The UEA House of Delegates, which meets in the spring of each year, is the legislative body of the Association. The UEA Board of Directors manages the business of the Association and includes the UEA president, vice president, two NEA state directors for Utah, one director representing each of the 11 UniServ units, and one director representing ethnic minorities.
The UEA has local affiliates in each of the state’s 41 school districts, Applied Technology Colleges, and the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.
The UEA is an affiliate of the three million-member National Education Association, America’s oldest and largest organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. Founded in Philadelphia and now headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NEA has 50 state associations and more than 14,000 local association affiliates.
UEA was originally organized in 1860 as The Deseret School Teachers’ Association, with a stated purpose of “establishing a society for promoting the educational interests of the community.” In 1910 it was incorporated as the Utah Educational Association and by 1924 had adopted the current name.
In May 1964, at the climax of a battle with then-Utah governor George Clyde, the UEA led a two-day walkout—the nation’s first statewide teachers’ strike. From 1990 to 1996, the president of the UEA was Lily Eskelsen, now the vice-president of the NEA. In 2007, UEA, working within a coalition called Utahns for Public Schools, led a successful bid to repeal what would have been the nation's first statewide universal private-school voucher.
The UEA serves its educator members and promotes public education and the education profession in Utah. Here are a few examples of the UEA in action:
- The UEA Convention & Education Exposition
The annual UEA Convention & Education Exposition includes dozens of professional development workshops for K-12 educators, keynote speakers, hundreds of exhibitor booths, a New Educators’ Workshop and much more.
- New Educators’ Workshop
The free, one-day New Educators' Workshop, held during the UEA Convention, is for students in teacher preparation programs and educators in their early years of teaching. The event features professional development classes, classroom-tested lesson plans, and a keynote speaker to motivate and inspire educators.
- Advocating for Public Education
Despite educators’ best efforts in the classroom, much of what they want to accomplish is out of their control. Decisions about everything from curriculum and class size, to budgets for classroom supplies, to salaries and benefits, are made in large part by elected officials and appointed policymakers. That's why teachers band together, through their professional association, to advocate for legislation and policies that will benefit Utah public education. Members of the UEA staff represent the voice of teachers on numerous committees, as part of education coalitions and with individual legislators.
- Utah National Board Coalition
As a member of the UNBC coalition, the UEA helps to sponsor teacher summits, an annual celebration dinner to honor newly certified NBC teachers, and an Educator Day on the Hill to honor newly certified teachers at the Utah State Capitol.
- School Improvement Grants
As part of a national Priority Schools Campaign, the UEA provides intensive support to schools receiving School Improvement Grants. At Glendale Middle School, for example, the NEA, the UEA, the Salt Lake Teachers Association and the Salt Lake City School District are providing professional development opportunities on team-building, cultural competency, and community outreach and parent engagement.
- ‘Excellence in Teaching’ Awards
The UEA annually presents “Excellence in Teaching” awards to 10 Utah educators. The awards are presented during a “Superstars in Education” celebration held in May.
- The UEA Children At Risk Foundation
The non-profit Children At Risk Foundation distributes grants to teachers serving at-risk populations, provides tutoring services in schools that do not meet federal standards and delivers other services to students in need.
- ‘Prepared Not Scared’ / ‘Future Educators of America’
Hundreds of college seniors preparing to enter education receive assistance with resumes, mock interview training, Praxis test preparation, and other support each year as part of these student programs. The programs are conducted in conjunction with the college of education at several Utah universities.
- Member Benefits and Discounts
UEA and NEA member benefits programs provide exclusive access to discounts on a variety of products and services, often saving members more than the cost of member dues.
- Communications and Public Relations
The UEA maintains an active communications and public relations program to share information with its members and the community. This program includes the myUEA.org member website, member newsletters and an active campaign to support Utah public education.
- Teacher Representation
The UEA represents Utah teachers in a variety of ways:
- Represent Utah teachers on the Governor’s Literacy Commission;
- Representation on policy taskforces at the Utah State Office of Education;
- Participation in a variety of community committees, boards and taskforces;
- Legal representation for individual teachers; and
- Assist local affiliates with teacher contract negotiations in individual school districts.
In addition, local school district affiliates represent teachers on a variety of committees and task forces.
- UEA Articles of Incorporation, Constitution and Bylaws
- UEA Resolutions
- UEA Legislative Platform, Support Positions and Priorities