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Affiliated Teacher Organizations of Los Angeles Collection (1944-1972) | Special Collections & Archives

Name: Affiliated Teacher Organizations of Los Angeles Collection (1944-1972)

Historical Note:

Harold Corbin began his teaching career as a Physics, Chemistry, and Math teacher at North Hollywood High School in 1933. Corbin earned permanent status with the Los Angeles Unified School District in 1939. Numerous teacher organizations existed in Los Angeles in the 1930s. Over time, these disparate groups joined together to form a federation called the Affiliated Teacher Organizations of Los Angeles (ATOLA).

Corbin joined ATOLA during the 1946-1947 academic year. He was Vice-President of the organization for three years and served as a delegate to many conventions. He was also a member of the Merger Committee, responsible for writing the proposal to combine the LATA and ATOLA. The Associated Classroom Teachers of Los Angeles (ACTLA) was a by-product of these initial merger attempts. In 1970, ACTLA and AFT Local 1021 merged, there being a National Education Association (NEA)/California Teachers Association (CTA) local and an AFT/California Federation of Teachers (CFT) local.

Seventy-five percent of ATOLA’s members were classroom teachers. Its policy-making and governing body was the Representative Council, consisting of one representative for each 100 members in a department. All certified personnel, regardless of position, were united as members of the teaching profession through this Council. ATOLA’s Board of Directors, selected by the Representative Council, was responsible for the organization’s administrative functions. The structure resembled that of the Los Angeles school system, where unity and diversity were (and continue to be) important attributes.

ATOLA combined six affiliated associations under a federation-type organization. The Affiliation also maintained direct relations with fourteen or more autonomous organizations representing various professional levels and interests in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The primary mission of ATOLA was to advance and raise the standards for the general welfare of schools and teaching profession, as well as to promote cooperation and understanding between the teaching profession and the community.

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