At a mid-afternoon July 26 meeting of the Encinitas Union School District (EUSD) board, the trustees carried out the formality of voting to approve the job descriptions for District Enrichment Teacher, School Site Enrichment Teacher and the hourly Site Program Support Teacher positions.
While approval of job descriptions is a regular practice for the board, these positions are notable in that they have been at the center of much controversy this summer as parents objected to spending $800,000 from the EUSD budget on teaching yoga.
Before this year, the nonprofit Sonima Foundation had funded the program through a donation.
On June 21, the board approved the 2016-17 budget — on a 4-1 vote with Gregg Sonkon opposed — which set aside money to replace that funding for the Enrichment Teacher Program. Nearly 75 people protested on the street before the meeting, and public comment was harsh toward the board and superintendent Tim Baird. The protestors and commenters felt the money could be better spent on core subjects.
After discussion at a July 19 board meeting to clarify titles and job descriptions of the three positions, the trustees came back July 26 for the official vote. The board voted 3-1, with Sonkon opposed, for the District and School Site Enrichment Teacher job descriptions and was unanimous in its support for the Site Program Support Teacher description.
The duties and responsibilities approved by the board for the Enrichment Teachers include providing yoga-based physical movement instruction and providing instructional support in other content areas as identified by individual school site, among others listed in the “July 26 Special Meeting” agenda tab at http://ww2.eusd.net.
In previous discussions, the EUSD board has stressed that the money is going for the Enrichment Program as a whole, which provides time for teacher collaboration. Furthermore, the language in the budget states that Enrichment Programs must include at least one day of yoga per week, while leaving it up to the individual school sites to decide the curriculum for the other days.
The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for Aug. 23, one day after the start of the 2016-17 school year.