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Stories by Megan Burks

Linda Vista Is Getting An Education Makeover This Summer

Linda Vista Is Getting An Education Makeover This Summer

June 22
By Megan Burks

Three of its schools will become science-based magnet schools, and a new charter school is breaking ground in the neighborhood.

What It Means When San Diego Educators Talk About 'Supporting The W...

What It Means When San Diego Educators Talk About 'Supporting The Whole Child'

June 22
By Megan Burks

It is something we have been hearing a lot lately, so we headed to a San Diego school to see what it looks like in the classroom — and whether you can grade it.

Dalai Lama In San Diego: Modern Education Needs To Focus On Compass...

Dalai Lama In San Diego: Modern Education Needs To Focus On Compassion

June 16
By Associated Press, Megan Burks

The Dalai Lama spoke Friday to a crowd of about 25,000 at the University of California, San Diego.

Skateboards For Syrians: Students Help Classmate Make Good On Decad...

Skateboards For Syrians: Students Help Classmate Make Good On Decade-Old Promise

June 15
By Megan Burks

Students at High Tech High in Point Loma are wrapping up their school year — and a special gift for Syrian refugees.

New Survey: San Diego Voters Want Homeless Funding, Not Convention ...

New Survey: San Diego Voters Want Homeless Funding, Not Convention Center Expansion

June 8
By Megan Burks

Would voters pass a hotel tax increase for convention center and homeless funding? The answer depends on which poll you read.

What San Diego's State Legislators Did On Education This Session

What San Diego's State Legislators Did On Education This Session

June 2
By Megan Burks

From water lead testing to teacher tenure, about a dozen education bills by San Diego legislators passed the California Assembly and Senate before Friday's deadline.

California Schools Chief Pays Visit To San Diego

California Schools Chief Pays Visit To San Diego

June 1
By Megan Burks

The California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson was in San Diego Thursday to draw attention to California's teacher shortage.

Proposed Rule Change For Adult ESL Classes Could Impact Children

Proposed Rule Change For Adult ESL Classes Could Impact Children

June 1
By Megan Burks

Many parents enroll in English-language courses so they can help their kids with school. The federal government wants to see more of them use the classes to get jobs or go to college.

San Diego Teachers: What Makes Them Stay?

San Diego Teachers: What Makes Them Stay?

May 24
By Megan Burks

As many as 40 percent of new teachers move on within their first five years. So we wanted to know: What keeps San Diego teachers in the classroom?

Resolving San Diego's Teacher Shortage With Money, Leadership And P...

Resolving San Diego's Teacher Shortage With Money, Leadership And Pizza

May 24
By Megan Burks

California projects it will need more than 20,000 new teachers annually, but universities in the state have been graduating about half that.

More And More Teachers Aren't Fully Trained — And That Could Be A G...

More And More Teachers Aren't Fully Trained — And That Could Be A Good Thing

May 23
By Megan Burks

Last school year, districts in San Diego and Imperial counties had to hire more than 700 teachers who had not yet finished their training. Where many see a troubling trend, others see a promising solution.

San Diego Unified Library, Mental Health Workers Dodge Budget Ax

San Diego Unified Library, Mental Health Workers Dodge Budget Ax

May 12
By Megan Burks

In April, the San Diego Unified School District proposed budget cuts that would have all but decimated its libraries.

City Detects Elevated Lead Levels In Birney Elementary Drinking Water

City Detects Elevated Lead Levels In Birney Elementary Drinking Water

May 11
By Megan Burks

Birney Elementary is the second San Diego Unified school site to test above permitted levels. More than a dozen campuses have lead at allowable levels.

Parents: Think Vouchers Would Be A Ticket To San Diego's Top School...

Parents: Think Vouchers Would Be A Ticket To San Diego's Top Schools? Think Again

May 11
By Megan Burks

Most private schools — the ones with impressive alumni and long waiting lists — will not accept school vouchers. And parochial schools hurting for students are wary, too.

SDPD: Torrey Pines High School Student Killed By Officers Left Suic...

SDPD: Torrey Pines High School Student Killed By Officers Left Suicide Note

May 8
By Associated Press, Megan Burks

A 15-year-old boy left a suicide note before he was killed by officers after pointing a BB gun at them in a high school parking lot in the dark over the weekend, police said Monday.

San Diego Unified Partners With Baja Schools As More US Kids Enroll...

San Diego Unified Partners With Baja Schools As More US Kids Enroll South Of The Border

May 1
By Megan Burks

Schools in Baja California are seeing more new students from the United States than from Mexico. Now, the San Diego Unified School District is partnering with those Baja schools and the Mexican consulate to better serve those students.

Proposed Cuts Would Impact San Diego Job Training Programs That Are...

Proposed Cuts Would Impact San Diego Job Training Programs That Are Booming

April 27
By Megan Burks

Three times the number of job seekers expected came out to a job fair in San Ysidro Thursday. Many got their training thanks to grants President Donald Trump wants to cut.

San Diego Unified Agrees To Negotiate With Unions Before Voting On ...

San Diego Unified Agrees To Negotiate With Unions Before Voting On More Layoffs

April 26
By City News Service, Megan Burks

The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education Tuesday postponed adding 190 employees to a list of 1,500 who have received layoff notices.

New Round Of Layoffs May All But Decimate San Diego School Libraries

New Round Of Layoffs May All But Decimate San Diego School Libraries

April 25
By Megan Burks

The latest proposal as San Diego Unified grapples with a $124 million shortfall would lay off all library technicians at middle and high schools.

Southcrest School Offers No-Cost Blood Tests After Lead Scare

Southcrest School Offers No-Cost Blood Tests After Lead Scare

April 21
By Megan Burks

About a dozen San Diego Cooperative Charter School students have already been to their private doctors for tests and told the school they do not have lead in their blood.

San Diego State's Aztec Mascot Will Stay — For Now

San Diego State's Aztec Mascot Will Stay — For Now

April 20
By Megan Burks

San Diego State's student government has voted down a resolution that would have phased out the Aztec mascot and moniker. But the school's University Senate will take up the matter again in the fall.

What Learning Looks Like: The Art And Science Of Classroom Transitions

What Learning Looks Like: The Art And Science Of Classroom Transitions

April 20
By Megan Burks

When young children do not follow demands, it is not because they are ignoring you or choosing to misbehave. It is because they lack something called "cognitive flexibility."

Elevated Lead Levels Not Detected In Latest Round Of San Diego Unif...

Elevated Lead Levels Not Detected In Latest Round Of San Diego Unified Testing

April 14
By Megan Burks

All of the 15 schools tested this month do not have elevated levels of lead in their drinking water.

Parents Worry About San Diego Unified Plan To Uproot Dozens Of Spec...

Parents Worry About San Diego Unified Plan To Uproot Dozens Of Special Ed Classes

April 14
By Megan Burks

San Diego Unified is planning to close dozens of special education classrooms and consolidate them across fewer campuses.

SDSU Program Helps Freshmen Learn Like College Students, Not Cram L...

SDSU Program Helps Freshmen Learn Like College Students, Not Cram Like Them

April 12
By Megan Burks

San Diego State University is expanding a program that has helped more college freshmen get through their first lecture-style classes in one try.

Lead Not The Only Chemical Found In The Water At Southcrest School

Lead Not The Only Chemical Found In The Water At Southcrest School

April 5
By Megan Burks

Old PVC pipes were leaching vinyl chloride into the water at Emerson-Bandini Elementary School. Lead tests being performed across all campuses in the district will not detect the chemical.

San Diego Educators Seek More Funding For Adult Ed Classes As Deman...

San Diego Educators Seek More Funding For Adult Ed Classes As Demand Increases

April 6
By Megan Burks

Administrators at local adult schools say they are seeing greater demand for English-language courses and classes that help immigrants prepare for the citizenship exam. But the demand comes after eight years of flat funding from the state.

Climate Change, Invasive Beetles — This Isn't The Sixth-Grade Camp ...

Climate Change, Invasive Beetles — This Isn't The Sixth-Grade Camp Of Yesteryear

April 4
By Katie Schoolov, Megan Burks

The U.S. Forest Service estimates California has lost more than 100 million trees to drought, fire and invasive beetles. In our own backyard, large oaks that shaded generations of San Diegans at sixth-grade camp are now stumps, calling on today's campers to reverse the damage.

San Diego Unified Offers Resources To Help Parents Pick Up Where Te...

San Diego Unified Offers Resources To Help Parents Pick Up Where Teachers Leave Off

March 29
By Megan Burks

Parents are often told to read with their kids, but many parents may not know the best way to do it.

What's On The Menu For School Lunch Reform Under Trump

What's On The Menu For School Lunch Reform Under Trump

March 23
By Megan Burks

Some in San Diego are bracing for cuts to school meals. Others are looking forward to an overhaul of nutrition standards. And immigrants worry a free lunch could make them a target.

As San Diego Unified Prepares To Cut 977 Positions, Teachers' Union...

As San Diego Unified Prepares To Cut 977 Positions, Teachers' Union Prepares For New Contract

March 14
By Megan Burks

Teachers crowded Tuesday's board meeting calling for competitive pay, more resources for kids and lower class sizes in their next union contract.

Human Library Event A Reminder Not To Judge Others 'By Their Covers'

Human Library Event A Reminder Not To Judge Others 'By Their Covers'

March 10
By City News Service, Megan Burks

Head down to San Diego's central library Saturday and you can check out … humans. A human library event will let visitors reserve people from all walks of life for a 20-minute conversation.

Parents: It's A Good Thing When Your Child's Math Homework Scares You

Parents: It's A Good Thing When Your Child's Math Homework Scares You

March 10
By Megan Burks

Some San Diego children are coming home with math homework that looks foreign — and maybe a little scary — to parents. That's because several schools in San Diego Unified are piloting a new kind of math instruction that aligns with the Common Core academic standards.

App To Make Your City A Classroom Launches In San Diego

App To Make Your City A Classroom Launches In San Diego

March 9
By Megan Burks

The city as a classroom — that is the vision behind LRNG, a new online platform that connects people to informal learning experiences in their communities.

On Heels Of Measure K, San Diego Republicans Look To Change School ...

On Heels Of Measure K, San Diego Republicans Look To Change School Board Elections

March 6
By Megan Burks

Republicans on the San Diego City Council are pushing for a 2018 ballot measure that would impose term limits on San Diego Unified School Board trustees and change the way they are elected to office.

Otay Reservoir Spills Over Its Dam For The First Time Since 2011

Otay Reservoir Spills Over Its Dam For The First Time Since 2011

March 1
By City News Service, Megan Burks

The Lower Otay Reservoir spilled over its dam Tuesday for the first time in six years because of Monday's heavy rainfall.

What Parents Of Students With Special Needs Can Expect Under San Di...

What Parents Of Students With Special Needs Can Expect Under San Diego Unified Cuts

Feb. 24
By Megan Burks

The San Diego Unified School District says it will still meet the needs of students with disabilities despite layoffs aimed at cutting $124 million from the budget next year.

San Diego Unified Budget Cuts Spare Classrooms But Not Their Freque...

San Diego Unified Budget Cuts Spare Classrooms But Not Their Frequent Visitors

Feb. 22
By Megan Burks

Class sizes are expected to remain the same despite a $124 million deficit next year. But many of the cuts impact administrators and specialists who are familiar faces in the classroom.

San Diego Unified Proposal Would Eliminate Hundreds Of Positions, R...

San Diego Unified Proposal Would Eliminate Hundreds Of Positions, Reduce Work Year To Balance Budget

Feb. 20
By Megan Burks

District officials say the plan to cut $124 million from the budget will not impact class sizes or instruction time.

Rep. Hunter Wants To Withhold Student Aid From Sanctuary Campuses—C...

Rep. Hunter Wants To Withhold Student Aid From Sanctuary Campuses—Can He Do That?

Feb. 13
By Megan Burks

Congressman Duncan Hunter, a Republican from Alpine, has introduced a bill defining sanctuary universities and prohibiting them from receiving federal student aid. In California, this money accounts for more than two-thirds of the aid students receive.

School District Pulls Resolution To Invite Betsy DeVos To San Diego

School District Pulls Resolution To Invite Betsy DeVos To San Diego

Feb. 13
By City News Service, Megan Burks

A proposal to invite new U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to San Diego to showcase public school successes was yanked from a school board agenda because of the "polarizing nature" of her nomination and confirmation, the president of the San Diego Unified School District said Monday.

Too Few Preschools—What If Day Cares Were Smarter?

Too Few Preschools—What If Day Cares Were Smarter?

Feb. 9
By Megan Burks

The new White House has pumped the brakes on universal preschool, meaning San Diego's existing patchwork of preschools and day cares will likely stand for some time. Here is an effort to mend some of its holes.

San Diego Schools Superintendent To DeVos: Put Fact Before Ideology

San Diego Schools Superintendent To DeVos: Put Fact Before Ideology

Feb. 7
By Megan Burks

Local educators say they will be watching what comes out of D.C. following the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as education secretary.

San Diego State Called Model For Teaching Entrepreneurship

San Diego State Called Model For Teaching Entrepreneurship

Feb. 6
By Megan Burks

Major gifts from the business community are fueling student start-ups at San Diego State University.

Kinsey Art Collection Open To San Diego Teachers For Black History ...

Kinsey Art Collection Open To San Diego Teachers For Black History Month—And Beyond

Feb. 3
By Megan Burks

Schoolchildren throughout San Diego County will get lessons on African-American history this month. But many believe those lessons are too narrow, including former Xerox CEO Bernard Kinsey, who's sharing his collection of African-American art with teachers.

Anti-Islamophobia Training Rolls Out In San Diego Schools

Anti-Islamophobia Training Rolls Out In San Diego Schools

Feb. 2
By Megan Burks

In the heat of the 2016 campaign season, San Diego Unified board members voted to put together a plan to stop Islamophobia in schools.

San Diego Educators Working To Make Math Friendlier For English Lea...

San Diego Educators Working To Make Math Friendlier For English Learners

Feb. 2
By Megan Burks

Math is a universal language. But for English learners, math textbooks and standardized tests aren't so universal. San Diego educators are working to remove language barriers so students who haven't mastered English can still advance in math.

More Than 30,000 San Diegans March For Women's Rights

More Than 30,000 San Diegans March For Women's Rights

Jan. 20
By Brooke Ruth, KPBS News, Megan Burks

Downtown San Diego was a sea of pink as thousands of demonstrators gathered at the Civic Center Plaza in downtown San Diego for the Women's March Saturday morning.

San Diego Charter Schools Lead The Pack In Special Ed Program Integ...

San Diego Charter Schools Lead The Pack In Special Ed Program Integration

Jan. 16
By Megan Burks

One longstanding fear about charter schools is that they might find ways to exclude kids with special needs to keep their scores competitive. But special education in California charters is actually growing, and a San Diego program hints at one reason why.

DA Clears Law Enforcement In Five Shootings, Including El Cajon Off...

DA Clears Law Enforcement In Five Shootings, Including El Cajon Officer Who Killed Olango

Jan. 10
By Megan Burks, Tarryn Mento

The San Diego County District Attorney announced Tuesday police officers were justified in five separate fatal shootings, including the September 2016 death of Alfred Olango that sparked protests in El Cajon.

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