Mississippi’s Advocate for Public Education Since 1878
Since 1878 the Mississippi Association of Educators (MAE) has been at the cutting edge with productive accomplishments for educators and public education in Mississippi.
The MAE was established through the 1976 merger of the predominately white Mississippi Education Association (MEA) and the predominately black Mississippi Teachers Association (MTA) during the March 1975 conventions of the MEA and MTA. A separate vote was held in 1976 to unify with the National Education Association.
In 1878, the Mississippi State Teachers Association, later to become the Mississippi Education Association (MEA), was chartered by the State of Mississippi for the purpose of improving working and learning opportunities and conditions in Mississippi’s public schools.
At that time, teachers and students labored in one-room school buildings without any stable state funding or state provided textbooks. For nearly 100 years, the MEA lobbied for for school structures, programs and teacher salaries. Additionally, the MEA offered professional development through workshops, conferences, conventions and publications.
In 1906, African-American educators in the state of Mississippi founded the Mississippi Association of Teachers in Colored Schools, later to be chartered as the Mississippi Teachers Association (MTA). The organizers of MTA recognized the importance of professional development and job-related protection of existing and future African-American educators as well as the need for better school buildings, textbooks and equipment.
Although the MTA made sizeable contributions to the education lobbying efforts at the state level, much of its efforts were in legal and community-based organizing activities. Those efforts centered on voter registration and get out the vote in support of politicians who advocated for public education opportunities for African-American educators and students.
The 1975 MEA-MTA merger vote sought to combine the powerful lobbying, legal assistance and professional development leadership of the state’s two education associations in order to better serve the educators and students of Mississippi.
Today, the MAE works daily to carry on and enhance the visions and accomplishments of the founders and organizers of the MEA and MTA.
Your membership and participation in the MAE will help to continue our success as the voice advocating great public schools for every student.
The Mississippi Education Association and the Mississippi Teachers Association–long before the merger–had achieved hundreds of accomplishments for public education and the profession of teaching in Mississippi. Included in these victories are:
- Accredited schools throughout Mississippi upon request of the University of Mississippi in 1918
- Established the association’s retirement plan for teachers (the state initially would not allow teachers to participate in the state retirement system)
- Developed the first salary schedule for teacher
- Established the first salary increment plan and worked to improve it over time
- Established a due process procedure for non-renewal of certified employees, early 1970s
- Developed plans to provide group health insurance and group life insurance for school employees
- An advocate for the establishment of Mississippi Educational Television (ETV)
- Provided conventions that were the primary source of professional development for teachers
Since the Merger of 1976, the MAE has achieved many benefits for its members and the profession, including:
- Frequently increased the amount of salary
- Established a required local salary supplement
- Increased the amount of salary increments
- Required sick leave days for teachers
- Required sick leave days for education support professionals/classified employees(ESPs)
- Unlimited sick leave accumulation for teachers
- Unlimited sick leave accumulation for ESPs
- Established two days of personal leave for teachers to attend association sponsored and other professional development workshops, conferences or for personal business
- Established required professional leave days for teachers who are appointed to State boards and commissions, such as Mississippi State Board of Education, MS ETV, etc.
- Established classroom supply funding laws
- Established group health insurance for all school employees
- Developed legislation creating a task force to solve the teacher shortage