Two candidates battle public school yoga program

Originally published at:


I feel like this post is just a subtle excuse to post that awesome dog photo.

While it is nice that there had previously been a grant to fund yoga in the district, and with the understanding that I know nothing about the general finances of the district or the state of the educational program, not wanting to pull money from other programs to keep yoga after the grant ends seems like a perfectly defensible position.


[quote]The decision to devote school funding to yoga infuriated many parents, who said they must raise money constantly to pay for services including science, art, music and physical education instruction. District money would be better spent on those programs, or on class size reductions, rather than yoga, they said.[/quote]How pleasantly reasonable. Downright heartwarming, even. I was expecting another paranoid tirade about how yoga is the tool of the satan, or something.

Of course, physical fitness is also very important, though I think I would have been much better served in my youth by thrice-weekly group aerobics than I would have been practicing layup drills and learning the rules of European handball.


Emphasis mine. Having done yoga I’m surprised it’s not considered part of physical education. I understand there was previously a grant that paid for separate yoga instruction but with the loss of that grant it still seems like they could fold yoga into the broader curriculum.

Yoga would help with that too.


Look, do you want healthy and dumb students or smart obese ones? It’s ether that or raise taxes.


School Board is an oxymoron.


I second the motion to find subtle excuses to post awesome dog photos.


Two anti-yoga candidates are seeking seats on the Encinitas Union School Board. Both candidates feel the district spending $400k on yoga, while other programs struggle, is out of balance.

I see what you did there. I kind of like the idea of people running on an anti-yoga platform, actually.

“If we allow yoga into our schools, the terrorists have won.”


It’s a little weird that the yoga doesn’t roll up to PhyEd. I mean, I’d much rather do some muthfuckin’ shavasana than have another goddamn bullshit round of dodgeball.


Is anyone able to find the total budget for the Encinitas Union School District? I know that covers ten schools. What is the total budget per school?

Baltimore spends about $7 million per school, for some perspective.


Dodgeball has been long banned, it’s too violent.

(I used to love dodgeball)

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Looks like about 40 million in “unrestricted” funds and another 10 million in “restricted” funds (titles I, II, and III, etc.)

It looks like about 75% of that is salaries and benefits.


Sure, my question is more “why isn’t yoga PhyEd?” It seems like a natural match! Yoga. Dance. Frickin’ Sepak Takraw.

And if Dodgeball’s been banned, there’s probably some openings! :slight_smile:


The ask/requested donation at our local elementary and middle schools (public schools) is $180 per child per year, it is voluntary. Apparently about one third of the families pony up. If the school were spending money like that on yoga I would rather it reduce the begathon instead to fund the normal reading and math enhancement and computer labs and such.

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It wouldn’t surprise me if these people think that. Encinitas was the source of that lawsuit about teaching yoga in schools violating the Establishment Clause.

I’m quite sympathetic to the notion that they shouldn’t be spending $500K on an extracurricular yoga program, but I doubt these spending complaints exist in a vacuum.


Agreed on the need for knowing the total budget.

It is only when you have a line item and total expense number that you can make a value judgement about where to spend the obviously limited dollars.

Also important: often these programs can come via separate funding than school board budgets; for instance the PTO might decide they want to fund yoga, and that funding doesn’t come at the expense of the other programs mentioned.

As a glasses wearing kid who was frequently picked on I’d agree with the banning. As fun as many people seem to remember it being, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t pleasant for anyone but those already larger or more athletic than everyone else. Largely an excuse to put the hurting on other students. In my school it was “extra points” to hit glasses wearing kid in the face often as hard as you could. And one particular gym teacher used dodge ball as a punishment. I remember injuries were frequent, and the game drove more than a few fist fights. Students would levy dodge ball based threats against each other. Knowing full well throwing a punch would get you suspended, but dodge balling the hell out of a kid would get you a gold star.

Its often struck me that the fondness many people have for that game is largely a rose colored glasses situation.


History disagrees with you:


In my school hitting someone in the face in dodgeball disqualified the thrower to the sideline. I don’t remember weaker kids playing at all. Maybe participation was voluntary, or maybe they got thrown out intentionally as soon as possible? Maybe, being a very small school, there wasn’t that wide a range of athleticism?

In any case, dodgeball wasn’t a part of phys ed past elementary school, because around puberty people could throw a lot harder (and thus get hurt worse.)

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now that looks similar to the paddles teachers and principals used constantly on boys and girls when i was in school (67-79) except that the last 5 or 6 years of that stretch they started making them out of baseball bats that had been planed down to that thickness so the user could get a better grip and have more leverage.