The Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools will open next month in Los Angeles. The K-12 complex cost $578 million dollars to build and is the most expensive in America. The high-concept architecture boarders on futuristic, and will accommodate 4,200 students.
“There’s no more of the old, windowless cinderblock schools of the ’70s where kids felt, ‘Oh, back to jail,'” said Joe Agron, editor-in-chief of American School & University, an architecture magazine that specializes in schools. The school complex features a public park, state-of-the-art swimming pool, and murals. It had been dubbed the “Taj Mahal” of public schools.
Parents, on the other hand, are less happy with the behemoth school complex. “New buildings are nice, but when they’re run by the same people who’ve given us a 50 percent dropout rate, they’re a big waste of taxpayer money,” commented Ben Austin, a member of the Califonia Board of Education and executive director of Parent Revolution. Some feel that the money would have been better spent on quality staff, particularly in light of the fact that nearly 3,000 teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District have been laid off in the past two years. But the school district says that building was planned long before the economic downturn, and was funded by voter-approved bonds.
Via The Associated Press.
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