Our History

Our History

Key Dates in ISEA history

1854 – The first meeting of the Iowa State Teachers Association is held at the Muscatine County Courthouse in Muscatine on May 10.

1863 – For the first time, women are admitted as full members of the ISTA.

1953 – After years of work, the ISEA wins the establishment of a sound retirement program for teachers and other public employees — the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS).

1972 – The ISEA wins a court ruling clarifying that pregnant teachers cannot be forced to resign, that they can use their accumulated sick leave for maternity purposes, and that they have the right to return to work following their maternity leave. After more than three years of litigation, that decision is upheld in the Iowa Supreme Court in 1975.

1974 – After ten long years of lobbying, ISEA members witness the historic passage of the collective bargaining bill for public employees. Also in that year, ISEA secures passage of legislation to create 15 area education agencies.

1999 – After a constitutional amendment to limit government spending on schools and other public services (the Stanley Amendment) is pushed through the Legislature, the ISEA leads a 28-member coalition to defeat the measure at the ballot box. The amendment is defeated in a June 29 special election. The ISEA moves into its new headquarters building in downtown Des Moines.

2007 – The Iowa Legislature approves a landmark bill that will dramatically increase K-12 salaries and give teachers a voice in determining their own professional development needs. The action caps a multi-year, multi-faceted campaign by the ISEA to bring teacher salaries up to 25th in the nation.

2014 – The ISEA wins legislation clearing the path for Teacher Leadership opportunities and other professional education reforms aimed at improving educator voices in their professional practice.