Barnes graduated from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Education, and letter earned an MEd and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh. He also served on the Board of Trustees at the Pennsylvania State University in his capacity as Education Secretary.
Barnes resigned from his position as Education Secretary in 2005, because he claimed the commute separated him from his family.
Personal Life 
Barnes has a wife, Patty and two children.
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