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  • Why should I join ATPE?
  • How do I join ATPE?
  • How much does ATPE membership cost?
  • What are the benefits of ATPE membership?
  • How is ATPE different from the other educators’ organizations?
  • I already belong to a professional association specific to my content area. Why should I also join ATPE?
  • I am a retired educator. Why should I join ATPE?
  • How are ATPE’s dues more cost effective than other associations’ dues?

Why should I join ATPE?

ATPE encourages current and potential members to research each educators’ organization to find the one that best suits them professionally and personally. If you are looking for an organization nurtured and sustained by dedicated education professionals that offers the most comprehensive member benefits package available along with affordable dues, you will like what ATPE has to offer.

How do I join ATPE?

Fill out an ATPE membership application and send it directly to the ATPE state office or, where applicable, give it to a designated local unit representative. All local unit leaders should have access to membership application packets. For more information, contact ATPE Member Services at (800)777-ATPE (2873), e-mail member_services@atpe.org

How much does ATPE membership cost?

Membership dues range from $10 to $145, depending on the membership category. The categories are professional ($145), first-time professional ($80), associate ($70), teacher trainee (engaged in student teaching) (free), college student (not engaged in student teaching) (free), retired ($10) and public ($10). Click here to determine the category in which your job description falls, or contact ATPE Member Services at (800) 777-ATPE (2873) or member_services@atpe.org. Only the professional, first-time professional, associate and teacher trainee membership categories are eligible for the professional liability insurance.

What are the benefits of ATPE membership?

There’s a reason why the Association of Texas Professional Educators is the largest educators’ association in Texas … we welcome all public education employees to unite with us in a collaborative spirit to serve the children of Texas.

ATPE is dedicated to providing you with the protection, advocacy and resources that will allow you to focus on the reasons you became an educator in the first place.


Devote more time to students and less to worry. Legal situations can force you to take valuable time away from your students and can also drain your wallet, but ATPE provides the protection you need. Professional Liability Insurance and Employment Rights Protection: Every eligible ATPE member is covered by up to $8 million in professional liability insurance. This includes up to $2 million per occurrence for civil rights claims brought by students, the most common reason educators are sued. Additionally, up to $10,000 per claim is available for legal costs related to employment rights protection, subject to $20,000 aggregate per member. The benefit is provided, win or lose.*

In addition to the insured benefits, ATPE maintains a team of dedicated licensed staff attorneys who may assist eligible members with employment concerns**. If you have a simple question about duty-free lunch or a complicated issue that concerns your job, simply call (800) 777-ATPE (2873), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m., or access the Member Legal Services Intake System (MLSIS). Our prompt and confidential service will give you peace of mind. We regret that assistance is not provided in situations that arose outside the individual's effective date of insurance.

How is ATPE different from the other educators’ organizations?

ATPE’s unique philosophy distinguishes it from all other organizations. As a professional association, ATPE believes it takes everyone working together to improve Texas public schools. This collaborative philosophy is evident in our legislative program and diverse membership that includes all types of public school employees. Also, ATPE maintains affordable dues while offering the best benefits package.


The Texas State Teachers Association is affiliated with the National Education Association (NEA). TSTA touts a labor union philosophy and supports exclusive consultation and collective bargaining. TSTA/NEA dues can climb in excess of $460 per year. With TSTA’s membership declining in some parts of the state, the group has discussed a merger with Texas AFT at the state level. Some TSTA local affiliates have already merged with their local Texas AFT affiliates. TSTA has approximately 48,000 members.


Texas AFT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and AFL-CIO. AFT and NEA have been working on a national merger of the two unions as well as a merger in Texas between the two state affiliates for several years. Texas AFT has spearheaded local mergers between the two unions and has encouraged local school boards to enter into union-style exclusive consultation arrangements in several school districts. Texas AFT’s annual dues can exceed $600.

PEG, the Professional Educators Group, is an unusual group created by Texas AFT to compete with other educator organizations in Texas. PEG offers a low-dues introductory membership in Texas AFT. PEG touts the same exclusive union philosophy as Texas AFT. Membership dues range from $85 to $115. PEG is found where Texas AFT does not have an organized local. Once a local is organized, dues will rise to more than $400 per year.

Combined, Texas AFT and PEG have more than 64,000 members.


The Texas Classroom Teachers Association is not affiliated with any national organization. TCTA membership is limited to certified professional personnel (excluding administrators) and certified support personnel. The group’s philosophy is that administrators’ interests are inherently adverse to those of other educators. TCTA has approximately 50,000 members. Current professional state dues are $140.


The United Educators Association Inc. is a for-profit organization whose members are concentrated in the Fort Worth area. Its annual professional dues can be as much as $225. In an effort to have some influence at the state level, UEA has forged an agreement with Texas AFT under which UEA pays Texas AFT for lobbying and legislative services. Texas AFT is a labor union affiliated with the AFL-CIO. UEA has more than 19,000 members.


The Texas Association of Community Schools is an association of more than 700 small, rural and mid-sized school districts that each have only one high school. The school district is considered the member. Employees of member districts can pay a reduced rate for limited liability and employment rights insurance, but these employees have no other substantive member benefits or representation.

I already belong to a professional association specific to my content area. Why should I also join ATPE?

ATPE membership, which includes access to an array of benefits, is an excellent complement to membership in any content-area association. Some content-area associations include legal protection as a membership benefit or offer it for an additional cost. None of their benefit offerings are as generous or as broad as ATPE's. If your content-area association membership does include legal protection, be sure to compare the benefits to determine if a dual membership would be beneficial to your career. If your content-area association membership does not include legal protection, it is especially important for you to join a group like ATPE. No public school employee should be without protection on the job.

I am a retired educator. Why should I join ATPE?

ATPE's retired memberships are an affordable way (10 annual dues) for retired educators to stay in touch with their profession and support the efforts of current public educators. Retired members receive the quarterly magazine ATPE News and the e-newsletter Essentials, publications that keep them up-to-date on the latest Texas public education news. ATPE lobbies the Legislature and Congress on issues of concern to retired educators, such as cost-of-living increases for retired Teacher Retirement System (TRS) members and Social Security offset provisions. Retired members advocate for public education as members of the ATPE Legislative Alert Network, and they may participate in ATPE state events such as ATPE Lobby Day and the ATPE Summit.

In addition, retired members have access to ATPE’s services and discounts, which provide valuable opportunities to save money on prescription drugs, hotel stays, car rentals, long-term care insurance and more. Plus, retired members have access to optional benefits such as prepaid legal services, savings on dental and vision services, and guaranteed-issue critical illness and accident insurance.

How are ATPE’s dues more cost effective than other associations’ dues?

ATPE is not affiliated with any national organization; therefore, our members do not pay any national dues. As a Texas educator, you can be assured that your ATPE dues dollars will stay in Texas. ATPE prides itself on providing Texas educators with the most comprehensive benefits package at the best value. As a nonprofit organization governed by members, ATPE membership dues are reviewed and set by ATPE members at the annual ATPE Summit.