History of Colorado Education Association

Standing Up for Public Education in Colorado…Since 1875!


The Colorado Education Association (CEA) is the largest union of educators in the state with more than 35,000 K-12 teachers and education support professionals, higher education faculty and support professionals, students preparing to become teachers, and retired educators. Association membership is open only to public education employees.


Founded in 1875 by a handful of educators that came together, voted, and formed the first union for public education workers in CO. For over 140+ years our numbers have grown considerably, our impact in shaping public education has deepened, and we are stronger than ever before.

Today, CEA has a dedicated team of 100 staff who work with our members everyday to fight for the schools our students deserve. We promote quality public education and advocate for the professional interests of public education employees. CEA has led statewide advocacy efforts in recent years to restore adequate funding to Colorado public schools and to emphasize time for learning and teaching in the classroom above excessive standardized testing.

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 affiliates in all states with more than three million members who work at every level of education, from pre-schools to universities.