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Board of Directors, 1903-2002

Identifier: Series 1

Scope and Contents note

The documents relating to the Board of Directors include annual reports, financial reports, meeting agendas and papers, meeting transcripts, biographies and photos of Directors, and meeting minutes Word-for-word transcription of many of the Board of Director's meetings, as well as collections of Board materials and meeting agendas reflect broadly the priorities of the Association at various times, especially educational issues of the time and NEA's response and approach to addressing them.


  • 1903-2002


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research. Some files are restricted. Files flagged as restricted are subject to review by Special Collections staff before being made available for research. As researchers request materials, a review of the documents will take place. Staff will remove any documents with social security numbers, employee numbers or other sensitive identifying information. Any document found including this information is closed for 90 years from date of creation, or until verifiable proof of a person’s death is given. After these documents are removed the folder will be available for research. In some cases, items may be photocopied and redacted. The redacted copy will then be placed in the publicly available folder. All other materials in a folder will be freely available for immediate use and will be marked as having been reviewed by Special Collections staff. After folders have been reviewed using these procedures and the confidential materials have been removed, the restriction shall be lifted.

Biographical/Historical note

The Board of Directors, teamed with the Executive Committee, is responsible for the general policies and interests of the Association. The Board and Executive Committee are subject to policies established by the Representative Assembly and derive their authority from the Constitution and Bylaws.

In 1857, a meeting was held to create a national association of teachers. Representatives from various state education associations met in Philadelphia to help create a national body. The Board of Directors consisted of one counselor from each state or representative district that attended that first meeting. Over time as the association grew, so did the Board of Directors.

In 1949, the Board of Directors consisted of the President; First Vice President; Treasurer; Chairman of the Board of Trustees; the former presidents of the Association elected prior to July 1, 1937; one additional member from each state, territory, or district, called the State Director; and Life Directors of the National Educational Association. States with 20,000 or more NEA members were entitled to two State Directors and states having 40,000 or more paid members as of May 31 in that year were entitled to three directors. State Directors were at that time elected for three-year terms by the Representative Assembly on the basis of nominations submitted by the various state delegations.

The Board of Directors at that time had the specific duty of electing of one member of the Board of Trustees each year and two members of the Executive Committee; determining the place and time of annual meetings; and appropriating funds for carrying on the Association's activities.

As of 2009, the Board of Directors consists of at least one director from each association affiliated with NEA as a state affiliate plus an additional director for every 20,000 NEA active members in the state, six directors for the Retired members of the Association, and three directors for the Student members of the Association.

The Board may also include at-large representatives of ethnic minorities, administrators, classroom teachers in higher education, and active members employed in education support professional positions. The Board meets four times a year, plus one meeting in conjunction with the Annual Meeting.


The 1949 NEA Handbook

The 1954 NEA Handbook

The 2009 NEA Handbook

Wesley, Edgar B. NEA: The First Hundred Years. New York: Harper, 1957.


113 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically by title, and chronologically within the same title.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America