$578,000,000 Public School In Los Angeles—For Illegal Aliens And Their Descendants
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In last night's VDARE.com column, I mentioned in passing:
The cost of building hundreds of public schools for this Amnesty Baby Boom (and, now, their kids) has been a key, if unmentioned, factor in the breaking of California’s budget. John Seiler reported last week that, when capital costs are included, the Los Angeles Unified School District spends almost $30,000 per student per year. [LAUSD spends $30K per student, CalWatchDog.com] For example, converting the old Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard into a school is costing $578,000,000.
For some reason, I never see estimates of what percentage of the student body at this $578,000,000 school will be the children (or grandchildren) of illegal aliens. The LAUSD says:
The school-age population in this area is predominantly Latino (84%) and low-income (89%), with 50% classified as English Language Learners.
So, I guess we can guess.

Today, I walked around the 24 acre site of this Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools on the 3300 block of Wilshire Boulevard today to see what the taxpayers are getting for their $578,000,000.

The good news is that, at least, it's not an eyesore.

That's a sharp contrast to LAUSD's recent $237,000,000 downtown arts high school (above), the Water Slide of Doom (a.k.a., Japanese Robot Invader from Space Aiming Its Flamethrower at the LA Cathedral):
The new RFK school (which is built on the historic site of demolished Ambassador Hotel where RFK was assassinated by Palestinian immigrant terrorist Sirhan Sirhan in 1968, and where my mother somehow used to talk my dad into putting on the tuxedo he owned[!] and taking her dancing at the Coconut Grove nightclub) is done in the shiny neo-modernist style that's in fashion again. It's not as nice looking as the 1921 Ambassador Hotel (which was closed in 1989), but it's not offensive looking.
As for why it cost $578,000,000, or $135,000 per each of the 4200 students, well, I'm sure there are lots of instances of abuse and extravagance. For example, preserving the huge sloping ornamental lawn, about the size of a football field, that runs from Wilshire Blvd. to the buildings is an extravagance (the kids can't play sports on it due to the slope). But it does look nice in a crowded neighborhood.

The site is on LA's main public transportation artery, so students' parents don't need to drive them. LAUSD could have put up barracks-like school buildings (like those in which most Baby Boomer taxpayers in LA were educated — most school buildings in LA built from 1945 to 1990 are more or less shacks), but the general public perhaps doesn't want an eyesore in such a prominent place.

What's scariest is my impression from looking at the site that, well, sure $578,000,000 was ridiculous, but, say, $378,000,000 would not have been.

It's just plain expensive to do things in LA. For example, one reason it took 21 years to get something new up and running on this prime site was first having 15 years of legal wrangling. But that is par for the course in LA. For example, the single finest piece of land in LA County, the old Marineland site in Palos Verdes on a point of land jutting out into the Pacific with 270-degree ocean views, was out of use from 1986, when Marineland closed, until 2008 when the Terranea resort hotel opened there.

There's a widespread conservative assumption that all we need to do is sharpen our pencils and cut out Government Waste. But the problems are more fundamental. Los Angeles is crammed with illegal aliens and their descendants, and educating them in a crowded and thus highly expensive city is extremely expensive.

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