Sunlight is undertaking a small digital ad campaign to reach teachers at this year’s NJEA convention. Sunlight wants to present New Jersey teachers with the facts; facts that they will not get from the NJEA website or convention.
Here are the facts and data behind our ad campaign:
- New Jersey teachers pay the highest dues in the nation – by far. In 2020-21, the latest data available, they paid 28% more than #2 Alaska (see chart below). Currently, they pay $999.
State Dues New Jersey $979 Alaska $765 California $737 Hawaii $664 Michigan $655
- New Jersey teachers’ dues fund NJEA President Sean Spiller’s personal political career. ELEC filings indicate that the NJEA’s Super PAC, Garden State Forward, spent $172,910 in support of Spiller’s political career in Montclair: $16,800 in 2016 when Spiller ran for town council, and $156,110 in 2020 when Spiller ran for mayor. Garden State Forward is funded from teachers’ regular dues.
- Spiller has been paid millions by the NJEA. According to the NJEA’s IRS Forms 990, from 2013 to 2016, Spiller was paid $1,098,448 as NJEA Secretary-Treasurer, and in 2017 (the last IRS filing available) he was paid $310,457 as Vice President, for a total of $1,409,905. Spiller was also NJEA Vice President from 2018 to 2020. Because his compensation during that time has not been made public, Sunlight used the average NJEA vice president’s compensation from 2013 to 2017, which was $382,776. Three years times $382,776 is $1,148,328. So Sunlight can reasonably estimate that Spiller’s total compensation as a NJEA officer from 2013 to 2020 was $2,557,233. As president, Spiller is being paid even more in 2021 (the average president’s compensation from 2013 to 2017 was $522,158). If the NJEA cares to provide the actual numbers, Sunlight will use those.