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The History of OEA

The Ohio Education Association has a long and proud history of advocating for children in public education. The need for a statewide organization to advocate for public education was identified in 1847, when the state of Ohio was not yet half a century old. A small group of educators from northern Ohio responded enthusiastically to the need to form such an organization and convened that December in the Summit County Courthouse to form the Ohio State Teachers Association. Years later the organization's name was changed to the Ohio Education Association.

Through our more than 150 year history, OEA members have determined the direction and priorities of the Association. The Association has always been a member-driven organization of the professionals who work in public education and work to advance public education.

Through the years, the OEA has achieved many major accomplishments on behalf of Ohio's students and its members. OEA has always been in the forefront of battles to improve education funding, provide smaller class size, ensure quality standards, fight for the right for every student to have a high quality public education, ensure children have access to caring and committed teachers and other school professionals, set high standards for the profession, ensure adequate books, supplies and materials are provided for students and a host of other efforts to help improve and advance public education.

In addition, OEA members have long been a force for improving conditions for those teaching and serving in Ohio's public schools. Fair and equitable salaries and compensation, benefit provisions, and fair dismissal and non-renewal procedures have been hard-won victories for those in the Association. One major accomplishment was the establishment of the State Teachers Retirement System which would provide all teachers with a solid retirement when their working years were over. Today, OEA works with several public employee retirement systems that provide such necessary programs for all school employees.

The Association's commitment to its central mission to advance the cause of public education has never changed, and today OEA members and the Association continue to be the leading voice of advocacy for children and public education.

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