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NEW YORK (AP) - Thousands of charter school supporters marched across the Brooklyn Bridge in a show of strength directed at front-running mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio.

The Democrat de Blasio has said he would charge rent to some charter school operators that now get space in public school buildings for free.

Marchers chanted "No Rent!" as they marched from Brooklyn to City Hall for a news conference Tuesday.

The Success Academy charter schools founded by Eva Moskowitz closed for several hours so students and teachers could participate.

Charter schools are publicly funded, privately run schools. About 70,000 of New York City's 1 million-plus public school pupils currently attend charter schools.

Republican candidate Joe Lhota has said he strongly supports charter schools and believes the city needs more of them.

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