The Arkansas State Teachers Association (ASTA) was founded to advance the teaching profession in Arkansas through personal growth, professional development, teacher advocacy and protection, as well as promoting educational excellence, so that educators receive the respect, recognition and reward that they deserve.
Who We Are
ASTA is not a labor union. We are a non-profit, professional association, created and led by educators. We do not engage in collective bargaining efforts. We are non-partisan and are committed to providing Arkansas' students the best possible education in a safe, nurturing, and uninterrupted environment.
We believe the needs of the student are paramount. We believe that strikes and boycotts are detrimental to students and to the reputation of teachers as professionals. We are dedicated to improving education through cooperation, not confrontation. We endorse more local control of education, greater parental involvement, and high standards for students and teachers.
As a professional association, we are devoted to working collaboratively with all stakeholders – parents, students, teachers, administrators, and the community - to build support for educational improvement and innovations in order to advance and improve the educational system.
ASTA is incorporated as a nonprofit, professional association, IRS designation 501(c)(6).
We believe the opportunity to learn and grow is key to a satisfying career in education. Professional development is therefore a key focus for ASTA.
We strive to provide our members a variety of resources for professional development through conferences, newsletters, teacher scholarships, classroom grants, in-services, and workshops. We actively seek collaborative opportunities for educational advancement (e.g., licensure, endorsements, continuing education) with Arkansas and national education entities.
Our goal is to support a variety of personal professional development and educational advancement initiatives which will improve teachers’ skills, their knowledge, and ultimately their profession. For, we know that teachers are the best advocates for kids.
ASTA listens to its members to determine what they want as professional educators. Once we have heard from our members, we provide an opportunity for their voice to be heard within Arkansas' ongoing educational dialogue. ASTA and AAE work at the local, state, and national levels to provide policy-makers with cutting edge analyses of education issues which our members tell us are important to them through feedback and surveys.
Our members’ dues are not used for non-educational issues, political issues, or social agendas. We do not use dues to support any political candidate, advocacy, or cause. We believe that non-education-related personal politics are your business. Instead, we work to empower our members so that they can be involved in improving education within their classroom, school, community, state, and nation.
One of ASTA's major goals is to demonstrate to school boards, the educational community, and our state and federal representatives, that we represent a new generation of trained professional educators, devoted to revitalizing our schools with proven child-centered methods and programs.
ASTA provides both legal assistance and liability insurance, $2,000,000 of protection per occurrence. ASTA members have free access to AAE’s attorney-referral network or they may seek out legal representation of their own choosing. In instances when a member chooses to his or her own attorney, he or she will be reimbursed for services rendered up to the limits specified in the policy.
AAE’s liability insurance policy covers you and protects your interests, not the interests of AAE or ASTA. As an ASTA member, you have guaranteed and immediate legal counsel at the onset of workplace issues. No other organization can make that promise.
AAE is a member of the Trust for Insuring Educators (TIE), which is administered by Forrest T. Jones & Company in Kansas City, Missouri. Forrest T. Jones is a nationally recognized leader in association group insurance with over 40 years’ experience. The Trust serves over 60 professional education associations, totaling over one million members.
For a list of associations participating in TIE, visit the www.ftj.com.
ASTA professional membership is $198 annually ($16.50 per month). Members begin receiving benefits on the day they join.
Professional membership is open to any employee of an educational entity (e.g., teachers, para-professionals, counselors, school psychologists, school and district administrators) in the State of Arkansas. Pre-service teachers who are working towards licensure, retired educators, and associate members may join at a reduced rate ($25 annually).
ASTA is a state partner of the Association of American Educators, AAE, a national non-partisan professional association which neither supports nor opposes controversial political issues unrelated to public education. AAE has members in all 50 states and the membership is growing every day.
Our partnership with AAE provides access to an extensive collegial network of educators throughout the United States and unlocks access to a wealth of knowledge and experience held by some of the finest educational leaders in the country. AAE also provides local support services to ASTA and advocates for our members at the national level in Washington D.C.
Over the last ten years, the number of states with non-union professional associations has grown from 10 to 25. ASTA is a part of a national coalition of over 300,000 professional educators who have decided to join a professional association instead of a labor union.