TRTA Mission Statement
TRTA shall promote the professional, economic, intelletual, social, and physical well-being of its members; shall encourage volunteer opportunities in the community; and shall provide advocacy for improved retirement benefits for all public school and higher education retirees.
Contact information for TRTA
313 East 12th Street/Suite 200/Austin 78701-1957
History of the Texas Retired Teachers Association
The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) is the largest association in the nation for retired teachers with a history of active Involvement in the well-being of their communities!
Founded in 1953, TRTA is the largest association for retired public school and higher education employees and now ranks number one in membership in the nation. TRTA has more than 73,000 members who continue to be involved in local public school education and in the well-being of their communities. In 2011, TRTA members collected 5,772,074 volunteer hours. The hours were valued at $21079 with a dollar value of $125,773,492.46.
In addition, the TRTA Children's Book Project, which began in 1998, has involved TRTA local unit members in giving books to children who might not otherwise have books of their own. Since the inception of the book project, more than 500,000 books have been placed into the hands of children who otherwise might never have a book to call their own. In 2011, 132,259 books were donated to Texas school children through this project.
For 50 Years the Vision of Our Founding Members Continued Growing
We turned 60 this year, but our roots stretch back even further. There were six local retired teachers association units organized in Texas by the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA): El Paso in 1945; Dallas in 1949; Fort Worth in 1950; Houston in 1951; San Antonio in 1952; and Austin in 1952.
Sixty-five of the 200 members of these six local units attended the NRTA convention in Dallas in July of 1953. There they met with Dr. Ethel Andrus, the founder of NRTA, and with her guidance they planned a state organization to be known as the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA). Officers were nominated and a meeting was scheduled for November 17, 1953.
At the November meeting the nominated officers were elected, a constitution and bylaws adopted, and a meeting scheduled for the fall of 1954.
In the early years of TRTA, it was not financially practical to make provisions for a headquarters office. The first presidents kept the files and records of the TRTA in their homes.
A History of Nationwide Relationships and Statewide Contributions
In 1979 the TRTA Executive Board authorized the establishment of a central office in Austin and began to organize the state of Texas into twenty (20) districts. The NRTA continued to provide guidance and assistance to districts and local units through NRTA assistant state directors. The organization of the TRTA districts became increasingly necessary when it became apparent that merging with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) was the only option NRTA had to solve its financial problems which resulted from building and maintaining a large retirement complex for retired teachers in California. After the merger, TRTA districts and local units could not depend on as much help from NRTA. The organization of the twenty districts was completed in 1982, the year that NRTA merged with AARP to form AARP/NRTA. After the merger, the Texas local units began to look more directly to the TRTA districts for leadership and direction.
Meet Our ExecutIve Director: TIM LEE
TRTA Executive Director
In 2004, the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) hired Mr. Tim Lee as the company’s Executive Director. TRTA has a long and proud tradition in Texas as an advocacy and action organization representing the interests of retired public school employees. The association’s membership is a network of retired classroom teachers, administrators, school professionals and support personnel. With over 80,000 members, TRTA is the largest organization of its kind in the nation.
Mr. Lee began his career as an advocate for public education retirees in 1996. At the time, he was hired as a legislative intern with the Illinois Retired Teachers Association (IRTA). By April of 1997, Mr. Lee was picked to lead IRTA as its newly hired Executive Director, a position he held for eight years. In 2004, Mr. Lee was recruited by TRTA to take over the fast-growing association.
Known around the country as a passionate speaker and energetic leader, Mr. Lee is a strong advocate for protecting the defined benefit pension plan and other post-employment benefits many states provide for retired public educators. Seeing these benefits as an economical way of ensuring retirement security for public school employees, Mr. Lee champions adequate and consistent contributions to pension funds by both the employer and employee.
This common sense approach has worked well in Texas. TRTA has partnered successfully with the Texas Legislature to create a well-funded pension trust fund. While this plan may not be considered “rich” in comparison to other state-funded pension plans, it is one of the healthiest state pension plans not presently coordinated with Social Security.
Mr. Lee has worked on public pension policy for 15 years. He has served on various state legislative panels and gubernatorial commissions, participated in forums with legislative leaders, and attended many conferences about managing and maintaining these vital public programs. Thousands of Texans receive Mr. Lee’s email newsletter The Inside Line. Mr. Lee is also a featured writer for the organization’s quarterly publication The VOICE.
Tim attended public schools in Springfield, Illinois, and is a graduate of Illinois State University. He has post-graduate credit at the University of Illinois. More than anything, Tim is proud of his wonderful family. He and his wife Nichol have four children: Carter (11); Grace (11); Ethan (9); and Ryan (5).
Tim Lee is the author of the INSIDE LINE. To subscribe, link:
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