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A new poll commissioned by the BC Teachers’ Federation, and conducted by Viewpoints Research, shows an overwhelming majority of teachers believe the provincial government is on the wrong track when it comes to its education policies and funding decisions, BC Teachers’ Federation President Irene Lanzinger said today.

“Teachers right across BC are deeply concerned about the direction the provincial government is taking our public education system,” said BCTF President Irene Lanzinger. “A staggering 79% said the government is on the wrong track. Teachers also identified underfunding and program cuts as their top concerns, followed closely by class size and support for children with special needs.”

Viewpoints Research was commissioned by the BC Teachers’ Federation to conduct a randomly selected telephone survey of 1,000 teachers between April 26 and May 1, 2010. A survey of this magnitude has a confidence level of ±3%, 19 times out of 20.

“This scientific poll also shows that teachers believe the government’s class-size and class-composition legislation has failed,” said Lanzinger. “More than 70% of teachers say teaching and learning conditions have worsened since the government stripped their collective agreements. And, 97% of teachers believe it is time to put class-size and class-composition language back into collective agreements.

“In recent weeks, the government tried to distract British Columbians from the funding issue by picking a fight with school boards,” said Lanzinger. “Teachers are asking parents to push past the government’s diversions and work with us to advocate for more funding so we can stop the cuts.”

Here are some key findings from the poll. More... 

Opinions regarding the provincial government’s performance in education 

Almost eight in ten BC teachers believe that the provincial government is on the wrong track when it comes to providing quality education.

Workplace concerns

Reduced funding for education and program cuts are the most significant job-related concerns teachers have, followed by not enough support for special needs students and class size.

A majority of teachers report that their workload has increased in the past year. Only 6% of members say their workload has decreased.

Class size and composition

Since 2002 when the provincial government stripped the inclusion of class-size and composition limits in teachers’ collective agreements, almost three-quarters of teachers report that circumstances around these issues have worsened. An overwhelming 97% of teachers believe the ability to negotiate class size and class composition is important or very important.

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For more information, contact Rich Overgaard, BCTF media relations officer, at 604-871-1881 (office) or 604-340-1959 (cell).

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