The most expensive public school ever to be be built and operated in the U.S. opens next month in California.
The Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools cost a total of $578 million. The building was formerly the Ambassador Hotel, where Robert Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan during Kennedy's Democratic presidential campaign on June 5, 1968. The school also includes fine art and a manicured public park.
The K-12 school is supposed to house 4,200 students, but critics have called the school a waste of taxpayer money.
"Welcome to the Alice in Wonderland world of education politics in Los Angeles," said Ben Austin, executive director of Parent Revolution. "Where up is down, down is up and none of these decision have anything to do with kids."
"What goes on inside the classroom is a lot more than the four walls that go around the classroom," Austin added. "Whether you have a Taj Mahal or a broom closet, make sure you have a 'kids first' agenda."
Voters approved new school buildings with bond issues. However, the Golden State's government has been dealing with a severe financial crisis.
Almost 3,000 teachers have been laid off and critics also point out that the school system has a dropout rate of 35 percent.
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.