By Associated Press - Tuesday, February 2, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York’s education chief says her plans to address a pro-charter school crowd in Albany have nothing to do with any political agenda.

Department of Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says she’s been talking to as many New Yorkers as possible since taking over seven months ago, and that her attendance Tuesday at Charter School Advocacy Day in Albany will be a continuation of that.

The Northeast Charter Schools Network and New York City Charter School Center say they expect more than 1,000 supporters for the daylong event. Charter advocates want the state to increase funding for the independently operated public schools.

Opponents, including the New York State United Teachers union, say charter schools take money away from traditional district schools without being held to the same accountability standards.

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