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Guide to the California Retired Teachers Association (CRTA). State Capital (Sacramento) Division 5 records
MS 0070  
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The California Retired Teachers Association (CRTA) – State Capital (Sacramento) Division 5 records document the activities and operation of the organization. The collection includes twenty-nine textbooks, five publications, ephemera, CRTA State Capital Division Meeting Minutes, CRTA State Capital Division News, and seven CRTA State Capital Division Historian’s Scrapbooks. Textbooks range from 1866 to 1948 (not inclusive). Publications range from 1929 to 2003 (not inclusive). CRTA State Capital Division Meeting Minutes range from 1935 to 1996 (not inclusive). CRTA State Capital Division News ranges from 1971 to 1996 (not inclusive). CRTA State Capital Division Historian’s Scrapbooks range from 1971 to 1996 (not inclusive).
The State Capital Division of the California Retired Teachers Association formed on January 18, 1935. Nine retired teachers got together and voted for Clarence S. Smith to be president, Sophie Price to be vice-president, and Kathryn Simmons to be secretary treasurer. The branch wanted “to protect interest with respect to legislation and investments through the strength that comes from unity, to compile and preserve a history of California schools and teachers, to provide for social gatherings, and to hold business meetings giving contacts with persons of similar interests.” In 1981, the Division initiated a publication committee in order to preserve the history of Sacramento County education. Published works include The First One-Hundred Years of Sacramento City Schools 1854-1954 and the Sacramento County Public School District 1850-1992. In 1914, California enacted its first teacher retirement compensation law. It gave those who had taught at least thirty years an annual pension of $500, distributed in quarterly amounts of $125, but it provided no death benefits. The California Retired Teachers Association (CRTA) formed during the era of the Great Depression. A group of nine teachers from the Retired Teachers Club of Pasadena (next known as the Southern California Retired Teachers Association, then simply as the CRTA) got together to demand an increase in teachers’ pensions, since many lived in poverty. While the Supreme Court ruled that the Legislature should increase pension benefits, it did not. Therefore, the founder and president of the CRTA, Laura E. Settle, helped to organize teachers throughout California. Settle retired in 1920 after thirty-two years of teaching. Teachers could join the CRTA at an annual rate of one dollar. In 1935, CRTA was able to achieve its goal of increased pensions. The CRTA is one of the nation’s largest retired teacher organizations. As of 2008, the CRTA had more than 52,000 members within 89 local divisions or chapters. Past members of significance include Ethel Andrus Percy, who was a leader in CRTA during the late 1940s. Percy went on to create the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the National Retired Teachers Association. The CRTA is committed to issues dealing with teachers’ retirement and public education. It is a nonpartisan organization, with its board of directors only taking stances on ballot issues, and not endorsing particular candidates for office. The CRTA depends on grassroots volunteerism; even officers do not receive a salary. A report done in the late 2000s indicated that current volunteers provided more than 2.3 million hours of service at a value of more than $38 million. Members help to raise funds to provide scholarships for future teachers. In 2008, the CRTA awarded $338,000.
3 linear feet (4 boxes)
All requests to publish or quote from private manuscripts held by the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) must be submitted in writing to the archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of CSH as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron. No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records.
Collection is open for research use.