Hey, there’s nothing wrong with dreaming big. But Sean Spiller, Vice President of the New Jersey Education Association, is letting his ego get a wee bit ahead of itself. According to Carly Sitrin at Politico (sadly, behind a paywall), Spiller has, according to six sources, “given the state’s congressional delegation a heads up that he’s interested in the position of U.S. Secretary of Education under a Joe Biden administration.”*
Even more startling, Spiller, currently a science teacher at Wayne High School (although most likely his union duties supplant his teaching obligations) and mayor of Montclair, may actually have a shot at leading the U.S. Education Department. Politico says he “checks all the boxes: young, charismatic, Black, a savvy political player, union leader and K-12 teacher.”
But seriously? Is the best President-Elect Biden can do for us? After all, let’s think about this.
- A New Jersey Superior Court ruled that Spiller’s double-duty —simultaneously serving on Montclair’s Board of School Estimates and as an officer of NJEA, earning $2.1 million during his tenure—was a conflict of fiduciary duties to both the citizens of Montclair and the members of NJEA.
- At the time, Spiller made the Wall Street Journal because a group of Montclair parents sued him for promoting NJEA’s needs over the needs of local students.
- He was just caught by Matt Friedman getting ready to host a “Holiday Cocktail Reception” (in the midst of a pandemic — $1,000 a plate, y’all — to benefit a new dark money group called “Progress for Action.”
Bad look, Joe. Don’t do it.
*Update: Carly Sitrin just tweeted,
But VP/Mayor Spiller was the one who “gave the state’s congressional delegation a heads up.” Can someone be “honored to be mentioned” if he or she is the one who did the mentioning? What am I missing here besides the solipsism? Inquiring minds want to know.