History

1853 · NJEA is founded.

The New Jersey Education Association is founded by a group of educators with a desire to improve public education and elevate the teaching profession.

1853

NJEA holds its first convention in New Brunswick’s Bayard School.

1874

Free public education for all was enacted.

1896

Teachers’ Retirement Fund is created.

1909

First tenure bill was enacted.

1914

Elizabeth Allen elected first woman president of NJEA.

1919

Minimum salary law enacted.

1930

NJEA wards off efforts to undermine public education due to the Great Depression.

1942

First sick leave law with mandated minimums.

1963

Funding of county colleges was established.

1966

The National Education Association merged with the American Teachers Association, the professional association and union for African American teachers.

1968

NJ passed its first collective bargaining law.

1975

Thorough and efficient education law was passed.

1975

Judi Owens elected first African-American president of NJEA.

1985

NJ has the highest minimum salary in the nation.

1988

Legislation providing health benefits for retired teachers.

1990

Family Leave Protection.

1992

Paid health benefits for retired educational support professionals/county college members.

1995

Zero tolerance for weapons and guns in schools.

2000

Educational Facilities Construction and Financing Act.

2007

Sick leave banks for school employees were established.

2013

Legislation that enables five-year contracts to be negotiated.

2015

Legislation prohibiting the administration of standardized assessments in kindergarten through second grade.

2015

Teacher Leader endorsement added to the instructional certificate.

2015

Legislation prohibiting withholding State school aid based on participation on State standardized assessments.

2020

NJEA wins Ch. 78 relief in a landmark agreement that lowers costs of educators and districts.

2020

NJEA succeeds in passing ESP Job Justice bills that provide just-cause arbitration and prevents subcontracting during an active collective bargaining agreement.

2021

Historic firsts as Sean M. Spiller becomes first African-American male president and Joan Wright becomes first African-American to lead NJREA.