NJ For Change

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Blue Trenton

This past Sunday I questioned whether progressives had any interest in New Jersey beyond winning the next election and holding taxpayers hostage for more money. A reader emailed me a link to a posting, Reading, Writing and Gangs, on Blue Jersey “that shows they want to improve something.”

The posting is about the horrible gang problem in Trenton and the murders that have recently been committed there in broad daylight by members of the Bloods gang. Things have gotten so out of control in Trenton the author explains that about 400 Trenton High students will skip school tomorrow out of fear of walking to school.

Recently, a suspected gang member accused of murder got back on the streets after posting $50,000 cash for his $500,000 bail. Mayor Doug Palmer asked "Where's a guy who doesn't have a job get $50,000?" Attorney General Farber has said she will speed up from 3 years to 4 months the time it takes for shooting cases to go to trial.
It’s well known New Jersey’s cities are behind the curve in law enforcement, failing to learn from the successful strategies Mayor Rudolph Giuliani employed in New York City. The Democrats have controlled our state’s cities for decades and taxpayers have poured billions into every conceivable ‘program” with little to show for the ’investment.’

My reader suggested I read this Blue Jersey post to gain an understanding of progressive ideas for improvement. Unfortunately, the idea is the usual progressive answer to all problems, spend more money.

That's a start. Action must be taken - and soon. It's bad enough that they don't have enough books, computers or teachers. It's bad enough they go to school in a run-down building that's sorely in need of renovation. The least we should provide our children is a place where they can feel safe and learn.
So there you have it. If only we had spent more on Trenton’s High School the Bloods wouldn’t be terrorizing the city’s population. This is a ridiculous theory that is not rooted in any facts.

The gang violence has nothing to do with public school funding. The average Trenton High School teacher earns $66,790 per year versus the state average of $52, 563; the cost per student Trenton High School student averages $14,567, well above the state average and the highest in Mercer County; the school in 100% internet connected and the numbers of students per faculty member is 11.5, as compared to 11.4 for the state.

Trenton High School hardly appears to be run down (see picture above and to the right) and the $24 million slated for construction at the school is going to build one heck of a gym as pictured on the left. A great priority for a school with such an abysmal student performance record and totally irrelevant to the gang problem.

The gang violence in Trenton is a testimony to the failed polices and ‘programs’ of government. More money for more of the same tired strategies isn’t going to change anything in Trenton.
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