NEW YORK (AP) – New York City will begin charging $1.50 for city investing classes beginning this fall, a move aimed at providing an alternative to the city’s costly public education system.
The move is part of a broader push by the city to bring its $1 billion investment in the city into the private sector and create a new generation of investors, said John A. Zweig, the city comptroller and a key architect of the plan.
“We’re trying to create an environment where you can invest, rather than just be exposed to the system,” ZweIG said.
The plan to charge for the classes, to be announced Thursday, comes as the city is trying to expand its public investment portfolio to include the likes of homebuilding and private equity.
New York’s public schools account for nearly one-third of the city budget and more than half of its annual operating costs.
The state recently awarded $1 million in city money to help fund a pilot program to create investment-management firms, and the city has been seeking more venture capital funding.
Zweig says the city needs to diversify its investments because it is struggling to meet rising demand for new housing and infrastructure and has been losing young people to the New York Institute of Technology in the last two decades.
“It’s not the city that’s going to make the best investments,” Zwig said.
“It’s the investment community.”
ZweIG’s plan to make investment-class classes free and easy to access is part to the broader city-private partnership effort to create a more innovative and inclusive economy.
In March, the City Council passed a law requiring businesses to pay for their employees’ training, including investment classes.