Labor Union

Arizona Education Association (AEA)



Phoenix, AZ

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2021):

Revenue: $7,870,679
Expenses: $7,285,125
Assets: $8,129,999


Teacher’s Union


Marisol Garcia

Executive Director:

Randy Parraz

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The Arizona Education Association (AEA) is a left-of-center teachers union and the largest government-worker union in Arizona. The union represents approximately 20,000 teachers and other school employees throughout the state and is affiliated with the National Education Association, the largest teacher union in the United States.

The union is active in collective bargaining on behalf of members, but directs much of its activity to political endeavors including lobbying for left-of-center labor and social policies and endorses candidates for public office in the state, mostly endorsing Democratic candidates. The union funds Democratic political campaigns through its Political Action Committee, the AEA Fund for Education. 1 2 3 4


The Arizona Education Association (AEA) traces its roots to the founding of the Arizona Territorial Teachers’ Association in 1892, which was formed to lobby for the replacement of out-of-date textbooks. The group also lobbied for the first state teachers’ pension fund to be formed in the 1910s and for school funding increases in the 1930s and 1940s, among other issues. The union collectively bargained for its first contract in 1966. 5

The union has also pushed for the adoption of ballot measures to increase school funding when its legislative efforts have failed including in 2000 with the passage of the Proposition 301 sales tax increase and has continually opposed school choice program funding, suing against the state’s first school voucher program in 2009. 6


The Arizona Education Association publishes an annual legislative agenda promoting a variety of key issues the union demands for teachers. Demands include a minimum $66,000 annual salary for certified teachers and a minimum $18 an hour for teaching assistants and other support employees. The union also opposes additional funding for private school vouchers and tax credits and opposes to legislation eliminating “bilingual education or culturally relevant programs.” 7

A 2023 legislative preview presentation from the union cited “AEA Concerns for Public Education” including “parental classroom interest,” Critical Race Theory, and charter schools. 8

The union has criticized right-of-center opponents of critical race theory-inspired classroom curriculum, calling critical race theory “an understanding that who we are, the laws we have in place, the histories that have been handed down to us, have been shaped by race,” and further stating that “In our public schools, our kids deserve age-appropriate and accurate history lessons, helping them become the critical thinkers we need to make this a more just, prosperous and equitable country.” 9

Political Endorsements

The Arizona Education Association releases endorsements for public office through its foundation arm, the AEA Foundation. The union almost exclusively endorses Democratic candidates and left-of-center ballot measures. In 2022, the union endorsed Governor Katie Hobbs (D), Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ), and dozens of other Democratic candidates for state and federal office. The union also takes a position on ballot measures not directly related to education, such as opposing a voter ID ballot measure and a ballot measure requiring a 60 percent threshold for tax-raising ballot measures. 10


Randy Parraz is the executive director of the Arizona Education Association. A longtime union operative, he previously was senior advisor and organizing director for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), governance and organizational leadership development coordinator for the national AFL-CIO, and led the Making Change at Walmart campaign for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). 11


  1. “Home.” AEA Fund for Education. Accessed November 12, 2023.
  2. “Advocacy Victories.” Arizona Education Association. Accessed November 12, 2023.
  3. “About AEA.” Arizona Education Association. Accessed November 12, 2023.
  4. “NEA Affiliates.” National Education Association. Accessed November 12, 2023.
  5. “Advocacy Victories.” Arizona Education Association. Accessed November 12, 2023.
  6. “Advocacy Victories.” Arizona Education Association. Accessed November 12, 2023.
  7. “2022-2023 Legislative Agenda.” Arizona Education Association. Accessed November 12, 2023.
  8. “2023 Legislative Preview.” Arizona Education Association. Accessed November 12, 2023.
  9. “Teaching Truth.” Arizona Education Association. Accessed November 12, 2023.
  10. “Arizona General Election Recommendations.”  Arizona Education Association Foundation. Accessed November 12, 2023.
  11. “AEA Announces Hiring of Randy Parraz as New Executive Director.” Arizona Education Association. Accessed November 12, 2023.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: August - July
  • Tax Exemption Received: February 1, 1939

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2021 Aug Form 990 $7,870,679 $7,285,125 $8,129,999 $3,758,442 Y $272,045 $7,600,119 $1,335 $608,442
    2020 Aug Form 990 $8,337,391 $7,809,546 $7,457,442 $3,671,439 Y $62,314 $8,248,420 $29,267 $719,907
    2019 Aug Form 990 $7,223,020 $6,785,271 $7,165,639 $3,907,481 Y $112,146 $7,067,874 $43,000 $600,983 PDF
    2018 Aug Form 990 $7,523,210 $7,579,792 $6,633,297 $3,837,091 Y $598,882 $6,892,959 $24,794 $577,479
    2017 Aug Form 990 $6,065,021 $6,212,939 $6,530,810 $3,745,929 Y $121,792 $5,938,959 $6,837 $552,645 PDF
    2016 Aug Form 990 $6,077,773 $6,104,319 $6,904,458 $4,055,026 Y $64,761 $5,945,659 $11,878 $590,268 PDF
    2015 Aug Form 990 $5,933,169 $5,915,037 $7,231,999 $4,392,818 Y $62,060 $5,863,138 $7,971 $496,226 PDF
    2014 Aug Form 990 $5,684,564 $5,552,173 $7,407,170 $4,613,084 Y $60,230 $5,615,820 $8,514 $601,527 PDF
    2013 Aug Form 990 $5,772,448 $5,766,786 $7,401,210 $4,751,187 Y $69,758 $5,695,959 $6,731 $562,675 PDF
    2012 Aug Form 990 $6,814,282 $6,830,364 $7,453,533 $4,991,865 Y $77,841 $6,731,541 $4,900 $701,847 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Arizona Education Association (AEA)

    Phoenix, AZ