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About Us

The American Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through the work our members do.


For more than 100 years, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, has championed our members, starting with teachers. Today, the AFT represents 1.7 million members in more than 3,000 local affiliates nationwide, including preK-12 teachers, paraprofessionals and other school related personnel; higher education, public service employees; and nurses and other healthcare professionals.

Teachers want a professional organization that helps them do their jobs better. By providing our local union affiliates and individual members with programs that meet their needs, the AFT strives to fill that role. We connect educators and specialized instructional support personnel (SISP) in the preK-12 field with best practices through research-based professional learning; policy analysis; classroom resources; consultation; school improvement initiatives; labor-management strategies; technical assistance; events that bring together members, leaders, advocates and experts; and more. Our work supports our members’ efforts to strengthen the schools where they work—and it builds the union as a leading voice on issues affecting the profession. 


The body of work is extensive, because the AFT is committed to doing whatever it takes to help our members do their jobs better; build their profession; and advocate for themselves, their peers, and the people they serve. Our team connects the latest research to its practical classroom applications, enabling educators to implement best practices. We also respond to ad hoc requests for support in response to member needs at the local and state levels.


This website highlights some of the work AFT does on behalf of our members, specifically preK-12 educators and specialized instructional support personnel, through AFT’s Educational Issues Department.


Our members are passionate, dedicated professionals who are committed to giving every student an outstanding public education, often despite significant constraints and challenges. Their work inspires us at the AFT each day, and fills us with optimism. We are honored to support our members as they strive to nurture and educate our country’s future citizens.

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