Conference delegates have voted to ballot teachers over a national one-day strike and demonstration in March next year, in the face of what they claimed were "unprecedented" cuts to education budgets.
It will be the first time the entire membership of the EIS has been balloted on strike action for more than 20 years.
If the strike went ahead, college lecturers would stand shoulder-to- shoulder with teachers, Alan Ferguson, president of the EIS's Further Education Lecturers' Association told the annual general meeting in Dundee last week. They "hoped and fully expected" to be involved in any industrial action, he said.
Reductions in staffing meant that teachers were "stretched to the limit", according to Glasgow delegate Bob Fotheringham, who proposed the motion calling for the ballot.
Given the "unprecedented nature of the cuts", teachers would have to strike if they wanted to defend education and jobs, said Charles McKinnon, also from Glasgow.
Principal teacher of English Brian McLean, from North Lanarkshire, said he personally had spent pound;80 on buying books for his Advanced Higher English class. But the department as a whole had spent pound;300 to pound;350 to ensure pupils were not "hindered or hampered".
Delegates also called on the union's council to conduct investigations into reductions in support staff and the impact of budget cuts on children with additional support needs.
They said they were frustrated by the Scottish Government's advertising campaign telling parents to ask for help for their children when they were "already swimming against the tide" and unable to cope with the children in the system.
One ASL teacher admitted she was already delivering a "deficient support model".
Also from the EIS conference:
Teachers on alert for attacks against them
Work to contract agreed on CfE implementation