Spawning a $290M industry in Trenton

With one act of enlightened self interest, Trentonians can spawn a new industry

It’s an industry without the risk of the car business. It attracts sought after  middle class workers. And, it’s inherently good for the community.

What’s this wonder industry? And more importantly what do we need to do to attract it?

Education can be Trenton’s next great economic engine, all we have to do is break the monopoly government has on it.

We spend $290M on education annually in Trenton. This is a vast amount of money that’s spent on entrenched interests with no motivation or legal ability to grow and attract students from beyond the city’s boundaries. Creating a voucher system to allow parental choice, will change the educational and business landscape in Trenton and NJ.

Rather than perpetuating a stagnant bureaucracy that rules over teacher contracts and poor schools, let’s open it up and grow a network of independent schools. New independent schools will fight to serve our children, will work to attract suburban kids to the city and will provide options for the teaching profession.

Trenton’s first salvo in to what I hope will be a growth business is the River City School in downtown. The school’s central premise is that an urban environment can be a classroom for teaching. There’s merit in this kind of thinking.

A downtown Trenton school has direct access to the civics lesson that is state government. It is the ultimate classroom for the history of the American Revolution. Within close distance to the downtown location is a textbook of business history. And nearby are lessons in biology, geology and environmental science. 

Education happens when its brought to life for kids. Who doesn’t remember the field trips of their early school days. The new school will provide many such valuable learning experiences within walking distance from the classroom.

River City School will be funded through tuition set to a very low $10,000 through the efforts of a core group of volunteers. My deep hope is that a portion of the $16,000 we spend per student in Trenton can be used in the form of vouchers to help parents pay for their children to go to River City.

Moreover, I hope for the sake of our kids and for Trenton’s economy that we can unlock economic power of the $16,000 per student we spend to start up other independent schools that will attract more children to Trenton.

A vibrant market for education in Trenton will attract education workers to our city, will attract young scholars from throughout the region and will provide an attractive reason for parents to move back in to the city.

Link to River City School’s web site

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