Trenton Public Schools’ immense budget gap and dependence on the State for funds significantly limits the quality of education that it can provide. In addition, the presence of charter schools directs funding away from the public school system. To make necessary capital improvements and provide critical services to its student population, Trenton Public Schools must reduce its reliance on the State and diversify its revenue stream. The most straightforward way to diversify the school system’s revenue is to increase the local residential tax base, which directly supports the schools. Aspects of Trenton’s Master Plan that aim to attract new prosperous residents and enable existing residents to develop sustainable career paths support this goal. For more information on initiatives that will expand the City’s tax base, review the Housing and Economic Development Reports.
In addition, the City must improve its interagency relationships so it can better pursue innovative funding opportunities. It must also maximize the revenue potential of publicly-owned properties within Trenton, especially schools. However, this effort should be coordinated with the school board, which owns many of these assets. This approach will simultaneously help fill the budget gap and meet community needs.