The race for Virginia governor is tight with just two weeks until Election Day.
VIRGINIA, USA — Polls show Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin are neck-and-neck in the race for Virginia governor. With just two weeks until Election Day, education is proving to be a top issue for voters.
On Sunday, the focus on education could be seen in DC when a “We the Parents” rally was held outside the US Department of Justice building.
Former Fairfax County School Board member Elizabeth Schultz spoke at the event and told WUSA 9 that people like her were becoming more and more fed up with education leaders.
“What has happened in the last 18 months is that a curtain has been pulled back,” she said. “It’s all across the country. People started really paying attention to what was happening to their children’s education.”
The event focused on recent comments from the National School Boards Association and US Attorney General Merrick Garland about investigating threats against school leaders and staff.
Schultz mentioned discussions about Critical Race Theory and how some parents have allegedly been unable to speak at local school board meetings due to the heated debates over controversial topics.
“Time and time again, I think parents are exhausted from being maligned, being mocked, being ignored,” she said. “It is time that the people elected need to be listening to the local parents and local taxpayers.”
The race for Virginia’s top state office comes after months of intense and emotional debate on topics impacting children and teachers.
In Loudoun County, discussions about critical race theory and transgender student rights have drawn hundreds of people in protest outside the school board building.
The uproar came after the Loudoun County School Board approved Policy 8040, which requires teachers and staff to refer to transgender students by their chosen pronoun, in August.
The county drew national attention after teacher Tanner Cross said he would not call transgender students by their chosen pronouns during a school board meeting.
In other areas, COVID-19 restrictions have provoked heated discussions.
Both mask and vaccine mandates have led to groups of teachers and parents voicing opposition, including in Spotsylvania County, where some have shown up to school board meetings with signs against the measures.
On Sunday, Real Clear Politics data showed McAuliffe with a 2.2% average lead over Youngkin in state polls.
With the slim margin just two weeks before Election Day, a McAuliffe campaign spokesman sent a statement to WUSA 9 highlighting how education is on the minds of many voters.
“Terry McAuliffe launched his campaign on his plan to give every Virginia child a world-class education,” he wrote. “Glenn Youngkin is running on a Trumpian plan that would gut funding for public education and lead to the loss of tens of thousands of teachers. While Terry will fight for our schools and children, Glenn Youngkin will always put Donald Trump first.”
Early voting has already started around the state.
Election Day is on Tuesday, November 2nd.