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The Columbia Journal
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Vancouver, British Columbia,
Canada V6B 3W8
Phone: 604-266-6552
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  • Volume Eight, Number Eight: December 2003

    Residents Unite to Save Public Education


    Dave Thompson

    Defending public education is the catalyst that binds a group known as the Community Alliance for Public Education or CAPE. Based out of Duncan British Columbia, CAPE began as an employee political action committee committed to electing worker friendly candidates to the local School Board.
    Spurred on by the successful of election Gabe Haythornthwaite as School Board trustee, “CAPE evolved from an alliance of partners involved in the school system” according to Eden Haythornthwaite Communications officer for CAPE. “We are dedicated to organizing the partners in the school system to resist government cutbacks to education”, she continued.
    Driven on by the premise that a good working environment for education providers would translate to good education for students the group has succeed in catching the attention of people in other school districts. There are other districts currently looking to duplicate CAPE’s success’s, Haythornthwaite stated, for instance the Nanaimo district has contacted CAPE to see if a similar group could be set up there.
    To date CAPE has had what some see as significant successes. Through Trustee Haythornthwaite, CAPE has been able to pass motions that favour students and staff. One example is a motion to look at a needs budget as opposed to the governments compliance or slash and burn budget. The motion provides for a committee to go into the schools to assess and document the actual needs of each school. This will become the bases for support of the needs budget.
    CAPE is committed to being vigilant. We believe through our on going efforts we will be able to address this governments agenda and reverse the trend of attacks on the public school system that are going not only here but in other jurisdictions.
    If anyone is interested in learning more about CAPE and its initiatives they can contact Eden Haythornthwaite at CAPE@shaw.ca.



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