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Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools will become more expensive

Posted by on Aug 23, 2010 | Leave a Comment

A new K-12 school will unveil next month in Los Angeles whose cost $578 million to build! The Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools is the nation’s most expensive public school ever built!

Fine art murals and a marble memorial depicting the complex’s namesake, a manicured public park, a state-of-the-art swimming pool and preservation of pieces of the original hotel where RFK was shot are the features of the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools.

In Los Angeles, California, the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools is a K-12 complex which is located on the former site of the Ambassador Hotel where U.S. Senator Kennedy was assassinated in 1968. Schools in the RFK Network symbolize Kennedy’s social justice legacy.

The RFK Community Schools is situated at the Wilshire Center/Koreatown area of central Los Angeles. Students from Pico Union and other neighboring communities, which, taken together, comprise the most densely populated area in California, are served by this school. With 50% classified as English Language Learners, the school-age population in this area is predominantly Latino (84%) and low-income (89%).

RFK Community Schools help out neighborhood students and in so doing relieves nearby severely overcrowded sites, unlike charter schools that recruit students from across the city.

To provide a high quality, comprehensive, and personalized education to all students by incorporating the use of technology and numerous research-based teaching styles into our academic program. is the of mission of Robert F. Kennedy Community High School Additionally, through the use of school service learning program, they aim to expose their students to the community around them and encourage them to become civic-minded people who are eager to support their community. Finally, as a small learning community, Community School hope to create a guidance program that fosters open and honest communication between students, their teachers, and their parents. Creating this communication “triad” helps us, as a school community, provide the best possible education for their students.

“The K-12 complex to house 4,200 students has raised eyebrows across the country as the creme de la creme of “Taj Mahal” schools, $100 million-plus campuses boasting both architectural panache and deluxe amenities.”

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, a school construction journal. ‘Districts want a showpiece for the community, a really impressive environment for learning.

Not everyone is similarly enthusiastic.

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,’ said Ben Austin, executive director of Parent Revolution who sits on the California Board of Education. ‘Parents aren’t fooled….

The RFK complex follows on the heels of two other LA schools among the nation’s costliest — the $377 million Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, which opened in 2008, and the $232 million Visual and Performing Arts High School that debuted in 2009….

The pricey schools have come during a sensitive period for the nation’s second-largest school system: Nearly 3,000 teachers have been laid off over the past two years, the academic year and programs have been slashed. The district also faces a $640 million shortfall and some schools persistently rank among the nation’s lowest performing.

Los Angeles is not alone, however, in building big. Some of the most expensive schools are found in low-performing districts — New York City has a $235 million campus; New Brunswick, N.J., opened a $185 million high school in January.

Nationwide, dozens of schools have surpassed $100 million with amenities including atriums, orchestra-pit auditoriums, food courts, even bamboo nooks. The extravagance has led some to wonder where the line should be drawn and whether more money should be spent on teachers.


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