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Moskowitz Has Long History of Butting Heads With de Blasio, Others

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The controversial charter school leader at the center of the fight with City Hall has a long history of butting heads with the man who is now mayor, among many others. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.

The feud between charter school leader Eva Moskowitz and Mayor Bill de Blasio erupted Thursday when he decided to take away space she'd been promised for three of her schools.

Depending on who you talk to, the mayor's decision makes him either a hero or a villain. The divide, though, may have more to do with his adversary, arguably the most polarizing figure in city education politics.

Moskowitz runs Success Academies, which make up the city's largest charter network, and her 22 schools are among the highest performing in the state. She's known to be extremely demanding.

"Eva has been fighting since kindergarten," said one parent. "I hate the phone calls, I hate the homework, I hate everything, but my child is worth it."

While Moskowitz fights for her students and her schools, many say it's been at the expense of other students at other schools.

Charters aren't entitled to space in public buildings, but Moskowitz believes that's unfair. With Mayor Michael Bloomberg on her side, all of her schools got space. She wasn't always considered a good neighbor.

"Why do my bathrooms look like a jailhouse and Eva's bathrooms look like a penthouse?" said one parent.

She raises millions in private donations, which she uses, in part, to promote her schools and stage large public rallies in their defense.

In the early years, that included the lotteries that determined which children got in. Parents were told it was their child's best chance. Then, when most walked away without a spot, cameras, and even a documentary, captured the devastated expressions.

De Blasio has challenged Moskowitz for more than a decade, but now, when he dismisses her tactics, as he did on Friday, he's speaking from City Hall. So she'll bus her 6,700 students and their parents to Albany Tuesday to make their case to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

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