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.
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.