‘Honorary chair’ Cuomo won’t attend pro-charter retreat

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Andrew Cuomo. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
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ALBANY—Governor Andrew Cuomo won't attend a pro-charter school education conference in Lake Placid this week, even though he is billed as the event's “honorary chair.”

An administration official said Cuomo agreed to headline “Camp Philos,” a retreat being hosted by Education Reform Now from Sunday through Tuesday, but he was not able to attend and sent a video message instead.

Teachers' unions held a protest on Sunday outside the Whiteface Lodge, where the retreat is being held. The American Federation of Teachers, New York State United Teachers and labor-backed advocacy group Alliance for Quality Education also launched a pop-up ad campaign, which will appear for Internet users in Lake Placid as well as nationally, according to a spokesman.

The ad criticizes Education Reform Now's political action committee, Democrats for Education Reform, accusing the group of being “Democrats in name only.”

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A spokeswoman for Democrats for Education Reform did not immediately return a request for comment.