Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators
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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to your questions about ATPE

When you join ATPE, you’re joining the state’s largest community of educators. For more than 40 years, ATPE has advocated for Texas educators and worked to provide affordable, high-quality benefits that give ATPE members the peace of mind needed to inspire student success.  Member benefits include:

  • Up to $8 million in professional liability insurance*
  • Extensive employment rights defense insurance* that’s guaranteed, win or lose
  • Access to a team of staff attorneys** who may help eligible members with job-related legal concerns
  • More than 90 hours of free on-demand CPE
  • An award-winning magazine and other publications
  • Money-saving discounts
  • Professional advocacy in Austin and Washington, D.C.
  • And more!

Membership dues range from free to $225 per year, depending on membership category and payment method:

Insured categories*

  • Administrator: $225
  • Professional: $175 (Discounted to $139 when you pay dues via credit card, bank draft, or check!)
  • First-time professional: $110
  • Associate: $90 (Discounted to $80 when you pay dues via credit card, bank draft, or check!)
  • Student teacher (engaged in student teaching or observation): Free

Uninsured categories*

  • College student (not engaged in student teaching): Free
  • Retired: $10
  • Public: $35

Installment payments and auto-renew available for credit/debit card and bank draft. Find out which category you should join. Questions? Send us an email or call (800) 777-2873.

You are eligible for first-time professional membership if you have never been a professional-category member of ATPE. First-time professional members enjoy all of the benefits and services offered by ATPE for only $110 for the entire year.

ATPE local units may set and collect local unit dues in addition to state dues. Local unit dues defray the cost of local unit activities, fund community service projects, and help your local unit send members to the ATPE Summit, the association’s annual governance and professional learning conference. Not every school district has an ATPE local unit, and local unit dues vary, so email or call (800) 777-2873 if you are unsure of your local unit dues amount.

ATPE-PAC is a political action committee funded by voluntary contributions. PAC funds are used to provide nonpartisan support to officeholders and candidates who support public education and ATPE philosophies. Participation in ATPE-PAC is voluntary and is not required to maintain ATPE membership status, member rights, or benefits. Learn more about ATPE-PAC.

ATPE’s unique philosophy distinguishes it from all other organizations. As a professional association, ATPE believes it takes everyone working together to improve Texas public schools. This collaborative philosophy is evident in our legislative program and a diverse membership that includes all types of public school employees.
Our competitors include:
The Texas State Teachers Association is affiliated with the National Education Association (NEA). TSTA espouses a labor union philosophy and supports exclusive consultation and collective bargaining. TSTA/NEA dues can climb in excess of $460 per year. With TSTA’s membership declining in some parts of the state, the group has discussed a merger with Texas AFT at the state level. Some TSTA local affiliates have already merged with their local Texas AFT affiliates. TSTA has approximately 40,000 members.
Texas AFT
Texas AFT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and AFL-CIO. AFT and NEA have been working on a national merger of the two unions as well as a merger in Texas between the two state affiliates for several years. Texas AFT has spearheaded local mergers between the two unions and has encouraged local school boards to enter into union-style exclusive consultation arrangements in several school districts. Texas AFT’s annual dues can exceed $600. Texas AFT has more than 60,000 members.
If there is no organized local, Texas AFT offers a low-dues introductory membership. Once a local is organized, dues will rise to more than $400 per year.
The Texas Classroom Teachers Association is not affiliated with any national organization. TCTA membership is limited to certified professional personnel (excluding administrators) and certified support personnel. The group’s philosophy is that administrators’ interests are inherently averse to those of other educators. TCTA has approximately 40,000 members. Current professional state dues are $175.
The United Educators Association Inc. is a for-profit organization with members concentrated in the Fort Worth area. Its annual professional dues can be as much as $235. UEA has more than 20,000 members.
ATPE membership, which includes access to an array of benefits, provides an excellent complement to membership in any content-area association. Some content-area associations include legal resources as a membership benefit or offer it for an additional cost. None of their benefit offerings are as generous or as broad as ATPE's. If your content-area association membership does include legal protection, be sure to compare the benefits to determine if a dual membership would be beneficial to your career. If your content-area association membership does not include legal protection, it is especially important for you to join a group like ATPE. No public school employee should be without protection on the job.
Groups that do NOT offer legal protection*
STAT—Science Teachers Association of Texas
TAFE – Texas Association of Future Educators
TAGT—Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented
TASA—Texas Association of School Administrators
TCEA—Texas Computer Education Association
TCTELA—Texas Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts
TCTM—Texas Council of Teachers of Mathematics
TGCA—Texas Girls Coaches Association
Groups that offer OPTIONAL legal protection*
TMEA—Texas Music Educators Association
TLA—Texas Library Association
TCA—Texas Counseling Association
THOA/ACTE—Texas Health Occupations Association/Association for Career and Technical Education
THSCA—Texas High School Coaches Association
FCSTAT—Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers Association of Texas
TBTEA—Texas Business and Technology Educators Association
CTAT—Career and Technology Association of Texas
Groups that INCLUDE legal protection with membership*
TASSP—Texas Association of Secondary School Principals
TEPSA—Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association
VATAT—Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas  

*Information is current as of March 1, 2020.

At only $10 for the entire year, ATPE’s retired memberships are an affordable way for retired educators to stay in touch with their profession and support the efforts of current public educators. Retired members receive both the quarterly magazine ATPE News and a biweekly email newsletter, both of which feature the latest Texas public education news. ATPE lobbies the Legislature and Congress on issues of concern to retired educators, such as cost-of-living increases for retired Teacher Retirement System (TRS) members and Social Security offset provisions. Retired members may participate in ATPE state events such as ATPE's Political Involvement Training and ATPE at the Capitol and the ATPE Summit.

Retired members also enjoy access to ATPE’s services and discounts, which provide valuable opportunities to save money on prescription drugs, hotel stays, car rentals, long-term care insurance and more. Plus, retired members have access to optional benefits including prepaid legal services, savings on dental and vision services, and simplified-issue life  insurance. (Members may enroll in these optional benefits for small additional fees.)

Because ATPE is not affiliated with any national organization, our members do not pay any national dues. Your ATPE dues dollars will stay in Texas where they will make the most impact. ATPE prides itself on providing Texas educators with the most comprehensive benefits package at the best value.

ATPE welcomes anyone who is interested in public education to join, including public school educators, administrators, para-educators, retired educators, and college students. However, five membership categories—professional, first-time professional, administrator, associate, and student teacher—are eligible for the professional liability and employment rights defense insured benefits* and assistance from staff attorneys.** Membership categories are defined in the ATPE State Bylaws. Questions? Email ATPE Membership or call (800) 777-2873.

Yes, 2021–22 membership in the first-time professional category is not accepted after October 31, 2021. 2021–22 membership in the professional, administrator, and associate categories is not accepted after January 31, 2022. Join early to ensure that you receive the most comprehensive benefits.

For 2021–22 memberships: Coverage under the Educators Professional Liability Insurance Policy* begins on the later of August 1, 2021, or your membership date, and expires on August 1, 2022, with two exceptions:

  • Coverage is effective on August 1, 2021, if you renew your membership any time during August or September 2021.
  • Employment rights defense insurance is NOT effective until 30 days after your membership date if you join or renew after September 30, 2021, and were eligible for membership from August 2021 through September 2021.

You will receive a welcome email with a digital copy of your membership card within a week after joining, and you will receive a welcome packet containing a personalized membership card in the mail within three weeks of the date the state office receives your application. If you do not receive a card, please contact ATPE Membership at (800) 777-2873 or to request a replacement.

To download a copy of ATPE's professional liability insurance coverage, please click here.

In general, your membership is established at 11:59 p.m. on the day that your paper or online application is received in the ATPE state office or your application is received, signed, and dated by a designated ATPE representative. The effective membership date for prospective members whose applications are received in the state office prior to August 1, 2021, is August 1, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. Join early to ensure that you receive the most comprehensive benefits.

*THE EDUCATORS PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICY IS UNDERWRITTEN BY NATIONAL UNION FIRE INSURANCE CO. OF PITTSBURGH, PA. ALL COVERAGE IS SUBJECT TO THE EXPRESS TERMS OF THE MASTER INSURANCE POLICY ISSUED TO ATPE AND KEPT ON FILE AT THE ATPE STATE OFFICE. Coverage applies to an insured’s activities within his/her professional capacity and does not apply to activities that predate the coverage period. View insurance policy details here. Eligibility for ATPE membership benefits is contingent upon ATPE’s receipt of the entire annual membership dues amount for your appropriate membership category. A disruption in payments to an authorized payment plan may result in discontinuation of membership benefits, including cancellation of insurance coverage. ATPE reserves the right to determine eligibility for the appropriate membership category. The membership year runs from August 1–July 31.

**Staff attorney services are provided separate from the Educators Professional Liability Insurance Program.