Joe Biden’s cabinet has a much lower income than Donald Trump’s. This is evident in the role of education secretary. Betsy DeVos was an heirloom whose family has an estimated $2 billion fortune. She was also the wealthiest person in Trump’s administration. Biden’s secretary Miguel Cardona is worth approximately 0.05%, or an estimated $1million. His money is mainly held in retirement accounts, a house, and a few 529 college savings plans for his children. Cardona, who was born in Meriden in Connecticut, is about 0.05% of Biden’s total wealth. As a child, he attended public schools and then went on to Central Connecticut State University to become the first member of his family to graduate college. He returned to Meriden in order to become an elementary school teacher. “At Israel Putnam Elementary Miguel, on a starting teachers’ salary, fished $450 from his pocket to ensure that his children had the supplies they required,” stated Senator Chris Murphy, Connecticut, at Cardona’s cabinet confirmation hearing earlier in the year. He was persistent in teaching his students that they should not let socioeconomic barriers stop their dreams and progress.
Cardona’s unwavering determination helped him rise up the ranks in public education. Cardona was the youngest principal of any Connecticut school in 2003, just before he turned 30. He and Marissa bought a house in Connecticut for $305,000 the next year.
Cardona was principal for 10 more years and, in 2013, was appointed assistant superintendent of his district. He assumed the position of commissioner for Connecticut’s department of education in 2019. According to his financial disclosure, which he filed following his nomination to Biden’s cabinet, he received an annual salary of approximately $200,000 for that position.