Public education advocates were stunned to learn that State Commissioner MaryEllen Elia plans to attend a charter school rally, where 1,000 students, parents, and staff will gather to demand more funding for privately managed schools, which translates into less funding for public schools attended by the overwhelming majority of students in the state. Charter school rallies are political rallies, meant to whip up enthusiasm to increase the number of charters and the amount of funding for these schools. Even Elia’s predecessor, John King–whose teaching experience was in a “no-excuses” charter school–never attended a charter school rally.