Friday, October 15, 2004

Activist Moms

The fall season for grassroots political action has begun in the Coquitlam School District. On Tuesday night I attended a forum at the University Women's Club called "Our Schools, Our Future." One of the panelists was Gwenda, a founding member of our own Consortium 43. She did a fabulous job. The whole evening was very interesting. We heard from a school administrator, ministry rep, teachers' union rep, parent advocate for children with learning disabilities and Gwenda, our own advocate for education funding.

That was a powerful kickoff for last night when we worked late to get our submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance before the deadline (midnight). Jennie, another founding member, compiled a very good financial analysis of the funding province wide from 2001-2008. Basically she demonstrated that even with "surprise" funding additions, local districts have been running with smaller real "per pupil" funding amounts since 2001 and will likely continue to do so until 2008. We added to this a description of some of the resulting changes in services in our district and in specific schools.

Our report will be just one of hundreds received by the government, coming from all parts of the political spectrum and all kinds of interests. It feels good to get it done, and a bit easier because we sumbitted a report last year also. We are learning as we go, raising a bit of awareness and sharing and networking with other interested citizens (whether or not the government pays attention to what we say). Oh yeah, that reminds me: send a copy of the submission to the local papers. Last year we got some good coverage of the issues that way - one more thing for the list!

If you want to know more about Consortium 43, you can contact us at

Oh yeah, and mark your calendar for May 17, 2005, when we know we can make a difference.

Question: What's happening at your school?

mompoet - finding spare molecules to point toward another critically good cause

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