Lapwai levy failure forces online P.E. courses

A week after voters rejected another supplemental levy, the effects on the Lapwai School District are now coming into focus.

Students will take physical education through an online school, the Idaho Digital Learning Academy. Foreign language classes will also be taken online — and for the second consecutive year, music classes are on hiatus.

Superintendent David Aiken outlined the cuts — and the online P.E. plan — in an interview with the Lewiston Tribune. Students will still have access to Lapwai’s gym and equipment, he said, but the district can’t afford to have a teacher onsite. “The teacher is on the other side of the computer,” Aiken told the Tribune.

On Aug. 26, Lapwai voters rejected a one-year, $250,000 levy; the proposal needed only a simple majority to pass, but garnered only 41 percent support. In May, voters rejected a $499,000 levy.
Lapwai, located on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation, is one of Idaho’s poorest school districts. Nearly 89 percent of the district’s students qualified for free or reduced-price lunch in 2013-14, the second highest poverty rate among Idaho’s 115 school districts.