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Parksville Qualicum Beach parents answer survey about labour dispute

District 69 parents who responded to a recent online poll are firmly behind class size limits, which is one of the main sticking points in the ongoing B.C. teacher's strike.

District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) president Kelly Wray reports that 341 people answered its recent online poll, meant to give her a sense of local parents' concerns, which she took to a provincial DPAC meeting Aug. 16.

She said she was impressed with the turn out, and while she admits it's far from comprehensive, she does feel it is a telling sample.

While the number of parents in the district is unknown, there are about 4,500 students, if there were that many parents, the unscientific poll would have a margin of error of about five per cent.

Eighty-six percent of respondents said they agree with the Supreme Court decision that teachers have the right to bargain class size and composition.

Eighty-three per cent also agreed that "a firm number of students per class is important to the success of your child's education," and 83 per cent also said yes to the question, "Is a firm number, maximum three, students requiring extra support, ie., students with an I.E.P., per classroom, important to the positive learning outcomes for your child?"

Given three options on who is best to determine class size and composition, 62 per cent said the class teacher, 30 per cent said the local school administration and nine per cent said the school board.

Seventy-five per cent of respondents said their child doesn't receive sufficient one-to-one time from their teacher, 60 per cent said the strike continuing into September would cause financial hardship, and 68 per cent didn't like the government's offer of $40 a day to parents of students under 13.

On whether the government should legislate teachers back to work, repondents were fairly closley split, with 56 per cent saying no.

The results are available at https://www.surveymonkey.net/results/SM-D2Q66CB8/.

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