TRTA History

Founded in 1953, 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!

TRTA has more than 80,000 members who continue to be involved in local public school education and in the well-being of their communities. In 2015, TRTA members contributed 5,581,882 hours of community volunteer service valued at $137,649,210.

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 600,000 books have been placed into the hands of children who otherwise might never have a book to call their own. In 2015, 139,637 books were distributed as part of the Children's Book Project and the Student to Student Book Program.

We turned 60 in 2013, 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 Miami Beach, Florida, 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 27, 1953 meeting in Dallas, the nominated officers were elected, a constitution and bylaws adopted, and the first convention was in November 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.