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ATA Support Critical to NAACP Legal Defense Fund

During the 1930s–1950s, the ATA and its state affiliates made possible scores of teacher salary cases, providing funds, plaintiffs, reports, and expert witnesses for legal cases filed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

When the NAACP Legal Defense Fund was incorporated in 1940, the ATA and its affiliates assisted in the development of cases that became part of a legal strategy that challenged inadequate and discriminatory classroom conditions, school funding policies, and school transportation systems for Black students. In fact, from 1940 to 1955, the ATA donated ten percent of its annual membership dues to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

The NEA also assisted by giving the NAACP Legal Defense Fund access to its records on Black and White teacher salaries. In 1948, the Supreme Court would declare dual salary schedules based on race unconstitutional.