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“Education is ​key to success – it’s that simple.​ Our strong public education system is what makes Virginia an economic powerhouse.​ ​We need to protect and build on this success—not let the Trump Administration privatize our schools.”

When Gene was age 10, he suddenly lost his father--the owner of a small lumber business. His single mother had to raise him and his three older brothers alone--and try to keep the business afloat under very challenging times. Because he devoted more time to the lumber yard than to the library, Gene nearly flunked out of ​high ​school​. But only through the intervention of a Jesuit university professor​ who gave him a second chance,​ was Gene able to get back on track​: a ​long ​journey that took him from​ that​ small​ lumber yard to teaching at Harvard Law School.​ No matter where you start, ​Gene knows firsthand that education ​can be​ the great equalizer for many families--and a wonderful provider of second chances.​

As Lt. Governor, Gene will fight to strengthen public schools for students, parents​,​ and teachers.​ ​He strongly supports expanding early childhood initiatives. He’ll make sure​ that​ teachers are empowered to teach students​--and ​not just prepare them for tests.​ ​He’ll stop any effort to divert money from classrooms into private or religious schools through ill-advised voucher programs. And Gene will use his position on the Council on Virginia’s Future to find ways to reduce the cost of higher education, so more hard-working Virginia students can access higher education.​ On public education, Gene speaks from the heart: he and his wife Diane​ have proudly sent all three of their children to Alexandria's public schools, including T.C. Williams High.