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Governance Document

National Council of Urban Education Associations Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about NCUEA.
Published: 05/2020

What is the NCUEA and what does it do?

The National Council of Urban Education Associations is a caucus within NEA. It comprises 251 large NEA locals and UniServ Councils. Together, the members of NCUEA are the nationwide voice of NEA's large local affiliates. NCUEA is internally governed and has autonomous decision making ability. Each local or council has one vote on the Council. Through a contractual arrangement with NEA, the NCUEA receives a staff liaison and secretarial assistance.

NCUEA conducts two conferences each year at which member locals make policy and receive training.

At the NCUEA Summer Conference, NCUEA members introduce and take positions on many items of New Business and other issues pending before the NEA Representative Assembly. NEA RA floor strategy is an important function of the NCUEA. Through intricate organizing, delegates from NCUEA are assured their voices will be a part of the debate that occurs on the floor of the Representative Assembly.

At the NCUEA Fall Conference, the agenda for the year is set and the officers are directed to maintain current NEA programs or to seek changes in NEA's direction. The Fall Conference offers a full day of training structured to meet the specific needs of leaders of large locals. Topics for training are developed from input received from current leaders. Evaluations received from participants consistently rate NCUEA training as excellent.

Candidates for NEA offices are interviewed prior to the Fall Conference. Recommendations for endorsement may be made in accordance with the NCUEA procedures for endorsement. Candidates actively seek NCUEA endorsement.

The NCUEA officers monitor meetings of the NEA Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Program and Budget Committee, UniServ Advisory Committee, and key training sessions and leadership conferences. They also lobby the appropriate NEA bodies during the year in order to gain acceptance of the NCUEA programs.

NCUEA also has a seat on the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education and the Board of Directors of the NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education (NFIE).

NCUEA NEWS, published throughout the year, summarizes and interprets actions of NEA governing bodies and committees that are of particular interest to urban leaders. The newsletters also keep members informed of many national events and activities.

What is the purpose of the NCUEA?

The NCUEA members believe it is their responsibility to communicate their needs clearly and concisely to their colleagues within NEA. The members believe NCUEA is the most effective method for making their case and for gaining a favorable hearing for their needs. Through the conduct of official business, NCUEA members work in a concerted fashion to influence the direction of NEA.

What is the history of NCUEA?

The NCUEA began in 1961. Several urban affiliate leaders recognized the uniqueness of the large local association, along with the need for change in the NEA, and moved to charter the organization that came to be known as NCUEA.

What are the major NCUEA accomplishments?

The NCUEA played a major role in making the NEA a member-controlled organization. The proposed structural changes were advanced by NCUEA leaders in the late 1960s and reached fruition with the NEA Constitutional Convention in 1971. NCUEA members and leaders provided the impetus for establishment of the current UniServ program.

Monitoring the UniServ program is a key function of NCUEA. Specific emphasis is on NEA funding levels and use of grant monies. In 1987, through NCUEA lobbying, the NEA UniServ Advisory Committee changed its procedures to distribute UniServ monies to individual councils, when the revolving account exceeded the 2 percent budgeted contingency. As a result of NCUEA action, the training for presidents of large locals was developed. NCUEA has also been instrumental in championing the cause of women and minorities. Many substantive changes have resulted as a consequence of NCUEA-initiated activities. NCUEA supports full membership rights for education support professionals.

Who may belong to the NCUEA?

Locals or UniServ units whose actual or potential membership is at least 1,000 may join. Others may join with the recommendation of a member association. All potential NCUEA members must be NEA affiliates and equal opportunity employers. NCUEA has higher education chapters and ESP locals among its current members.

Why belong? What will NCUEA do for my local or UniServ Council?

The NCUEA is the urban "conscience" of the NEA. The activities outlined above are of sufficient value to commend membership in NCUEA. However, it is important to realize that membership in the NCUEA brings with it instant access to a network system that is unlike any other in the United Education Profession. Not only are members kept informed of internal NEA direction, but they also have access to a forum specifically tailored to the advancement of large local concerns. NEA is not nearly so far away when you are a member of the NCUEA. The NCUEA is an advocacy-oriented support system that follows an agenda mandated by its own members.

Can an interested local attend an NCUEA meeting as a guest?

Yes! Potential members who wish to observe the NCUEA in action are invited to attend either of the annual conferences. The only requirements are sponsorship by a member local and payment of the registration fee. The registration fee includes the cost of a banquet ticket.

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Merritt Island High School Physics teacher and mentor Diane Wallschlag (Left) with her mentee and high school science, biology and chemistry teacher and colleague, Andrea Williams (Right).

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