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America's priciest public school: By the numbers
The Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools — a lavish new complex in Los Angeles that cost more than China's Olympic stadium — is fueling controversy
The new school's campus spans 23 acres of land.
The new school's campus spans 23 acres of land.
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ext month, students in the Los Angeles Unified School District will sit down for classes at the most expensive public school in the nation. The newly-built Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools — located on the site of the Ambassador Hotel, where Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968 — is just the latest $100 million-plus "Taj Mahal" school to open across the country. Just how lavish is the RFK school? (Watch a local report about the school.) Here, a look at the numbers:

$578 million
Cost of the RFK school — $78 million more than the Bird's Nest stadium built for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing

$400 million
Original construction estimate

$15 million
Cost of preserving historic features on the site, which includes parts of both the 1921 Ambassador Hotel and the famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub

$9 million
Legal costs involved in battling preservationists, who wanted to save the Ambassador, and Donald Trump, who hoped to build the world's tallest building on the site

13
Number of grade levels the school will serve, kindergarten to 12th grade

4,260
Number of students who will attend the RFK school

$135,000
Cost per student — roughly 40 percent more than average for schools built in central L.A. in the last two years

$640 million
This year's budget shortfall for the L.A. Unified district

3,000
Number of teachers in the school's district who've been fired over the past two years due to budget constraints

23
Total size, in acres, of the school's campus

19,000
Square footage of the public park, which is located on the RFK school's grounds

452,000
Total square footage of the school

35
Percentage of students who drop out in the L.A. Unified district

Sources: ABC News, CS Monitor, AOL News, Washington Post, Yahoo! News, USA Today, Daily News

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