Skip Navigation
We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, provide ads, analyze site traffic, and personalize content. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.

Educators Win Together

When educators are respected, appreciated, heard, and have the resources we need, we can give students our very best. Our union members unite to win for students, schools, and each other.
Art build with the text "educators need the pay to stay"

Together we're stronger. Together we're heard! 

Across the country, we are making progress on the issues that matter for educators and students. However, there is still work to be done. With more members like you, we have a stronger voice to win the changes that we need and our students deserve.

Join Your Union! ➤

Delivering Real Change for Our Students and Schools

Here are some of our wins in the last year—some are big, and some are small—and that’s the point. We fight for the public schools our students deserve, no matter how big or how small the issue.

What would you add to the map?

What is something you won through the union? Let us know – and who knows, it could make its way to our map of wins!

Share your win

A woman stands with her hands clasped after applauding in the audience

We come together for our students. And win.

Pay raises. Dedicated planning time. Better benefits. In every corner of every state, NEA members came together and had some major wins.

With more members like you, NEA educators will have an even stronger voice to improve our daily lives and the lives of our students.

Portland educators and allies sit on a bridge to demand investment in public schools.

We are a community of teachers, nurses, paraeducators, counselors, custodians, bus drivers, higher education faculty, parents, and community members—all working together for students and public schools.  

3.6 million

Do you have student debt? NEA offers support
Student debt borrowers received relief from the Biden-Harris Administration
of educator-recommended candidates won their school board elections
more school districts get access to free school meals

Progress that Matters

Together we advocated for, and won, important policy changes that benefited staff and students. Explore three areas we've made big progress in!
Gun Violence Prevention

Building on last year’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, President Biden and Vice President Harris created a new White House office on Gun Violence Prevention. The first-of-its-kind effort will coordinate gun violence prevention measures across the federal government.

In Michigan, Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer signed multiple bills to advance common-sense reforms, including universal background checks for firearm purchases and safe storage with penalties for failure to keep weapons away from children. A bill signed just before Thanksgiving prohibits people convicted of domestic violence in Michigan from purchasing or possessing firearms. These broadly popular measures are supported by huge majorities of Michiganders.

California enacted several laws that advance gun safety from different angles. One approach taxes guns and ammunition with funds dedicated to violence intervention programs, school safety improvements, and law enforcement efforts to confiscate guns from people legally prohibited from owning them. Another law seeks to narrow the circumstances permitting concealed carry of firearms, consistent with a new U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down broad restrictions.

In Colorado, waves of protests by students and educators after a high school student was shot near school led to new reforms. One law requires a three-day waiting period and another reduces legal protections for gun manufacturers, exposing them to liability under consumer protection laws. A new law in Connecticut bans the open carrying of firearms and prohibits the sale of more than three handguns to a single person within a 30-day period.

Nationwide, states passed more than 80 gun safety policies and rejected over 90% of the gun lobby’s extreme agenda. Advances included waiting periods (Colorado, Vermont, Washington), prohibitions on straw purchasing of firearms (New Mexico, Vermont), restrictions on assault weapons (Connecticut, Washington), and provisions to make it easier to hold the gun industry legally accountable (Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Washington).

School Meals

Millions of more students will get access to nutritious free school meals thanks to the advocacy efforts of NEA and its members. These meals will not only feed students, but also help them learn.

6 states (Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, New Mexico, and Vermont) join California, Maine, and Nevada in offering free school meals to all its students. New York also greatly expanded its free school meals program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an estimated 3,000 more school districts in high-need areas the option to serve breakfast and lunch to all students at no cost, by expanding the availability of the Community Eligibility Provision, commonly known as CEP.

The NEA actively collaborated with the USDA on Summer EBT, a new permanent summer nutrition assistance program for children, leading to a notable increase of 20 states pledging enrollment, and won labor-friendly language in USDA school meal guidance.

Student Debt

For years, NEA members have advocated together in favor of cancelling college debt to help fix the educator shortage. Now, thanks to those efforts, the Biden-Harris Administration has forgiven nearly $132 billion in student debt, providing life-changing relief for more than 3.6 million Americans (and counting!). 

In 2023, the Supreme Court halted the Biden Administration’s one-time student debt relief program. Despite these and other partisan challenges, educators continue to receive student debt forgiveness through key federal programs. For example, since President Biden took office, 50,000 public sector workers have received $53.5 billion in cancellation through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

The Biden Administration also launched a new income-driven repayment plan called “Saving on a Valuable Education” or SAVE—the most affordable repayment plan in history. Under SAVE, monthly payments will drop by at least $1,000 annually and any unpaid interest that accrues above monthly payment will be erased!

As an additional alternate pathway, the U.S. Department of Education is currently undergoing a rulemaking process to provide debt relief for as many borrowers as possible under a different law. We expect the wins around student debt to continue to provide relief for educators and all learners who seek higher education.

Explore our resources designed to help educators navigate their student debt and text STUDENTDEBT to 48744 to get the latest news from NEA experts.

More Wins for Educators and Students

bipartisan safer communitie act 1

Historic Win: $1 Billion for Student Mental Health

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act brought the first meaningful gun law reform in 30 years, plus an infusion of mental health resources for schools.
universal free meals schools 2

‘An Amazing Victory’: Free School Meals for More Students

The USDA, supported by NEA advocacy, expands access to free lunch and breakfast for all students.
higher teacher salaries 3

Historic Pay Increases Lead to Happier Teachers, Fewer Vacancies

In Baker City, Oregon, the starting salary for teachers increased by $21,000 this year.
becky pringle in portland 4

Strikes Work. The Portland Teachers Won.

In November, thousands of teachers in Portland, Ore., and Andover, Mass., went on strike for 15 days. What they won will endure for years.
arp funds 5

How States Are Spending School Rescue Funds—and What Should Happen Next

Nearly $170 billion was allocated for public schools to address pandemic recovery over the last three years.
election 2023 education 6

Who Were Big Winners in the 2023 Elections? Students and Educators!

In state and local elections across the country, voters chose candidates who pledged to invest in public schools over those peddling vouchers and culture war politcs.
Educators hold up signs at a rally to support LGBTQ students and the freedom to learn.

We are stronger because we are together.

As part of the largest labor union in the country we work together to ensure that educators have a stronger voice.

We use that voice to win the resources we need—so we can do the very best for our students.

What's Your Win?

We want to hear from you! Let us know what you accomplished for your students or for yourself—personally or professionally. Be sure to share any links to news coverage of your wins.

National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.