Sacrificial lambs

first_img160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant To find the extra money, the school board has agreed to take $60 million away from other districtwide programs, ultimately short-changing the vast majority of the LAUSD’s students. To make amends, the board has consented to allow 500 students from outside the area to attend the new high school – a costly perk for a few that comes at the expense of the many. In addition, the district will also be delaying the start of another 500-seat high school in the school-starved area, meaning that local kids will suffer, too. The school board blames the cost overruns on inflation in the price of construction materials, as well as switching architects. But that’s basically a way to obscure the truth if not an outright lie. The original plan for the site was to build a standard, but pleasant-looking school to relieve the serious overcrowding in nearby schools. The overruns stem directly from the fact that the school board bent to the vision of Broad, who wanted an architecturally significant school at the site, which sits on the far end of Grand Avenue. Broad is deeply involved in the renovation of Grand Avenue from ho-hum city street to a gleaming and attractive civic space. Having a cool arts school on the edge of Grand Avenue is a nice addition, for sure. But it should not come at the cost of the other students in the district. School board members should remember that they serve the students of the entire district. And treating those students like sacrificial lambs by diverting funds to feed the civic ambitions of an elite few is unconscionable. Los Angeles Unified School District officials seem awfully willing to sacrifice a lot of education benefits for the sake of building Eli Broad’s dream school on the edge of downtown. The admittedly impressive plans for the district’s performing arts high school at the corner of Grand and Cesar Chavez avenues is coming in many millions over budget, for a total of $208 million. That’s $208 million for a school that could have been, should have been, built for less than $50 million. That’s $160 million or so just to bring to life the vision that billionaire Broad wanted for the gateway of his Grand Avenue renovation. On Tuesday, the Los Angeles school board approved a $171.9 million bid to move forward on construction of the graded lot, formerly the site of an LAUSD administration building _ $55 million above the last cost estimate. last_img