In 1998, a tentative agreement to merge was reached between NEA and American Federation of Teachers negotiators, but ratification failed soundly in the NEA's Representative Assembly meeting in New Orleans in early July 1998.  However, four NEA state affiliates have merged with their AFT counterparts. Mergers occurred in Florida (the Florida Education Association formed in 1998); Minnesota (Education Minnesota formed in 1998), Montana (MEA-MFT formed in 2000), and New York (New York State United Teachers formed in 2006).
Further, NEA and AFT continue to cooperate and work towards common goals through the "NEAFT Partnership." This Partnership leaves each organization free to differ and to conduct work separately and independently, but enables the two groups to collaborate at every level of each organization.