Encinitas Union School District Votes on Budget for a Yoga Curriculum

Approximately 40 to 50 demonstrators gathered outside of the district offices on Rancho Santa Fe Road.

A proposed budget for a yoga curriculum in the Encinitas Union School District was passed during a board meeting Tuesday.

The superintendent of the school district proposed a $500,000 budget to fund the program which would include paying for yoga instructors in the enrichment teacher program.

During a meeting Tuesday, board memebers votes 4 to 1 to set aside $800,000 to pay for enrichment program instruction which includes yoga. The money for the program would come out of a general fund.

But not everybody was on board with the idea.

Approximately 40 to 50 demonstrators gathered outside of the district offices on Rancho Santa Fe Road before the meeting began.

"It can be an enrichment but it doesn't need to be the crux of our curiculum," parent Sarah Mackay said.

Parents say it’s unfair the district has asked them to help raise money for science, music and physical education but wants to spend district tax dollars for a yoga curriculum.

"The district needs to be focused on the best interest of the kids and focus on, in school hours, on academics and that needs to be first,” said parent Rebecca Thompson.

But some parents and students told NBC 7, they are for the program.

"I wanted them to know that it is a good program to have and it is good for kids," 4th grader Georgia Sporrer said.

The Yoga class requirement will now be reduced from two classes a week to just one. That gives each school the opportunity to choose another day of yoga or some other wellnes program.

A three-year grant that originally funded the program recenty expired.

Two years ago, the district was sued over the program.

But in April 2015, an appeals court ruled that teaching yoga does not represent an attempt at illegal religious indoctrination.

On the district’s web site, the board states the program received an 83 percent approval rating among participants and it has proven to be beneficial to students.

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