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Stories by Megan Burks

San Diego Unified Opens Pre-K Program To All, Regardless Of Income

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Good news for parents with little ones: San Diego Unified is opening its preschool program once reserved for low-income families to all income brackets.

San Diego Community Colleges Bounce Back From Recession-Era Cuts

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Classes started Monday for more 100,000 students at San Diego County's community colleges, which are offering upper division courses for the first time.

Backpacks Help San Diego Refugees Head Back To School

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Hundreds of backpacks will go to refugee schoolchildren at a back-to-school celebration Saturday.

How Chula Vista Library Is Training Budding Engineers

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A lab at Qualcomm's Sorrento Valley headquarters has been engaging local students in science and engineering. Now the software company is helping open a smaller outpost in the basement of the Chula Vista Library.

Toussaint Academy Helps Homeless Teens Go From Couch-Surfing To College

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The homeless count done every year vastly underestimates the number of unaccompanied teens in San Diego, homeless advocates say. Finding them could play an important role in reducing the number of people on the streets.

San Diego Republicans Launch Last-Minute Effort To Fill School Board Seats

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There are more open seats than candidates running on several school boards from Coronado to Julian.

Glitter And Robotics Collide To Groom San Diego Girls For Engineering Jobs

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Qualcomm just wrapped up a three-year experiment to see what keeps middle-school girls interested in math and science. They called it Qcamp.

San Diego County Says More Kids Heading To Kindergarten Vaccinated

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County health officials expect the number to increase. A law banning personal and religious belief exemptions to vaccinations is now in effect.

City Council Moves San Diego High School Issue To The Ballot

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The November ballot measure will ask voters to amend the city's charter so that San Diego High School can remain in Balboa Park. The city charter and state law do not allow schools on public parkland.

Working Grad Students Ask California State University For Higher Pay

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Graduate students who teach classes at San Diego State, Cal State San Marcos and other California State University campuses make as little as $500 a month.

Inmates At Donovan State Prison Eligible For Federal College Funds

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Southwestern College in Chula Vista will begin offering the federal Pell Grants in the fall to Donovan prisoners as part of a pilot program started by the Obama administration.

San Diego Coastkeeper Offers Lessons For Students, Teachers

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The nonprofit is helping teachers meet Common Core science education standards while helping the environment, too.

Band Students From Across San Diego County Join Forces To Celebrate Pride

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The San Diego Pride Youth Marching Band will play "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga and "Fireball" by Pitbull.

San Diego's Homeless Sleep A Little Easier — Emphasis On 'Little'

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While gruesome attacks on the homeless like those this week are rare, violence among the homeless and targeting the homeless is not, advocates say.

Chula Vista Man Arrested In San Diego Homeless Attacks

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San Diego police arrested Anthony Padgett at 10 a.m. near Broadway and H streets in Chula Vista, homicide Capt. David Nisleit said at an evening news conference.

San Diego Homeless Worried After Series Of Assaults

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Father Joe's Villages looked for extra space in its shelters Wednesday as a string of attacks put San Diego's homeless on edge.

For STEM Teachers, School's In Session This Summer At San Diego State

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San Diego State's College of Engineering is helping teachers from throughout the country strengthen their science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — lessons.

Lawmakers Want To Make Rape Survivor's Letter Required Reading

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Two San Diego congressional members want to ensure all college freshmen read a letter written by a woman who was raped by a Stanford University student in 2015.

Get-Out-The-Vote Mural Goes Up In City Heights

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KPBS has teamed up with The AjA Project and the Copley-Price Family YMCA to draw attention to the issue of voter turnout using the public mural that lets people share why they vote.

San Diego Unified Hopes To Expand Access To College Courses

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The district will add college courses so more students can earn college credit at no cost. The plan will be presented Tuesday to the school board, when district officials release the proposed fiscal 2017 budget.

Achievement Gap For Blacks, Latinos In San Diego Unified Narrows

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The rate for African-American students nearly matches the school district's record graduation rate of 92 percent overall.

San Diego Voters Excited, Worried About November Presidential Election

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Hillary Clinton’s claim on the Democratic nomination this week marked progress in American politics. But while many San Diego voters were proud to see a woman leading a presidential ticket, their outlook on the country was a little more complex.

Flores, Gomez Will Vie In November For City Council District 9 Seat

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City Council District 9, which includes Kensington, City Heights and the College Area, will get its first Latino council member this year. The district was drawn to favor Latinos, but in the last City Council election it went to Councilwoman Marti Emerald.

A How-To Guide For San Diego County's 1.5 Million Voters

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The San Diego County registrar of voters is gearing up for a busy election Tuesday. Some 1.5 million residents registered to vote — more than were registered in advance of the 2008 presidential primary.

Does San Diego State's Aztec Mascot Perpetuate Racism?

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It’s endured student petitions, campus referendums and an NCAA ban on Native American mascots. Now the San Diego State University Aztec is coming under fire again.

Most San Diego Candidates Fail To Respond To Racial Justice Survey

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A San Diego nonprofit asked all of the candidates for city office about their views on race, policing, and Syrian refugees. Only about half responded.

#ShowUsYourMailers: Bold Claims In San Diego Council District 9 Mailer

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San Diego City Council District 9 candidate Georgette Gómez says she's leading the fight against public funding for a stadium and brought a farmers market to City Heights.

SDSU Faculty Send Letter Condemning Hirshman's Handling Of Horowitz Fliers

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Dozens of faculty members at San Diego State University have signed a letter asking the school's president to denounce fliers that linked several students to terrorists. In a separate letter, the National Lawyer's Guild suggests the school's handling of the fliers violated the Civil Rights Act.

More San Diegans Registered To Vote In Primary Than 2008 General Election

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We'll be tracking what this year's unconventional election cycle does to local voter rolls with our new online tool, the Voter Registration Tracker.

#IfIHadAVote: Talking Politics With Lakeside Teens

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As part of our California Counts election coverage, we're asking San Diegans who can't vote because of age or lack of citizenship how they would vote if given the chance. Students at El Capitan High School start us off.

Diversity Still Lags Among SDSU Graduates Planning To Be Teachers

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The students graduating from San Diego State University with teaching credentials this year won't make the local pool of teachers more diverse, a problem for district's like San Diego Unified where 80 percent of the kids are students of color.

San Diego Unified High School Graduation Rates Higher Than Expected

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Two months ago, researchers predicted a low graduation rate for San Diego Unified's class of 2016. Now the district says it's on track to set a record for the highest rate among the state's five largest districts.

Activist Behind Controversial Fliers Visits San Diego State

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A day after conservative activist David Horowitz and his body guard arrived on the San Diego State University free of protestors, fliers bearing a hate message were found in Love Library.

Assemblywoman Atkins Tries Again To Get Medical Interpretation Covered

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San Diego Assemblywoman Toni Atkins and other lawmakers have tried and failed three times to pass bills that would increase access to language interpretation at doctors' offices and hospitals.

A San Diego Refugee And Real Estate Professional Talk Politics

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We recently revisited two of our voters from the neighboring San Diego communities of Kensington and Teralta. Their neighborhoods and backgrounds are drastically different. Their political views? Not so much.

Who's The Establishment Candidate In San Diego Council District 9?

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The neighborhoods that make up San Diego's City Council District 9 have stark differences, but the four Democrats running in June to represent the area aren't as distinctive.

Program Streamlined To Get Food Stamps To Needy Faster

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It can take San Diego County applicants three days to get food stamps under the CalFresh program. The goal now is to sign up in the morning and have an EBT card loaded with the CalFresh dollars by dinner time.

Vacant Lot In City Heights May Soon Be Vacant No More

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It's home to a flock of pigeons now, but an empty lot in City Heights could soon be home to a community circus and other events.

Deal That Averted CSU Strike Calls For 10.5% Raises

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The tentative deal announced Friday represents a compromise between the 26,000 member California Faculty Association and the nation's largest public university system.

UC Boosts In-State Enrollment By 15% Following Critical Audit

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The university system released its latest admission figures Monday, after a state audit found that it has been admitting more students from out of state as its in-state admissions dropped.

San Diego Storefront Getting Facelift To Become Innovative School

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The County Office of Education plans to have students from its alternative schools run businesses out of the renovated site. The development will replace an old car dealership and church goods store on El Cajon Boulevard near Interstate 15.

Many Latino, African-American Students Opting Out Of AP Classes

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A survey by the San Diego Unified School district shows many students who are qualified for the college-level courses didn't know much about them or were afraid they'd fail.

After Lobbying By San Diego Chaldeans, Kerry Accuses ISIS Of Genocide

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Kerry's announcement came after his representatives met with Iraqi Christians in San Diego and other cities to hear testimony gathered from family and associates back home.

Fossils Unearthed Along State Route 15 in San Diego

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Caltrans began work this month on a bikeway that will take cyclists from Kensington to Mission Valley by 2018. Discoveries at the job site reveal something very different passed through the route 3.5 million years ago.

California Bill Would Let Rideshare Drivers, Others Organize

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San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez introduced the bill and said it goes beyond the "gig economy." San Diego's taxi industry and others could also be affected.

San Diego's 'Latino Empowerment District' Could Get Its First Latino Rep

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The city added a ninth council district in the Mid-City area, where Latino residents make up the majority. A year later, it elected City Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who is white.

California Counts: Mobilizing The State’s Refugee Voters

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Voter turnout in San Diego's refugee community is low, but those refugees who do vote never miss an election. Now a nonprofit is working to get out the vote among refugees — betting they'll become super voters.

San Diego Students Re-Enact The March On Washington

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More than 100 students marched outside of Gompers Preparatory Academy for a lesson on the Civil Rights Era.

Much-Wanted Senior Programs Coming To City Heights

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The city of San Diego's infrastructure committee has signed off on money for a recreation building at Park de la Cruz in City Heights, where city and county senior programs could find a home if the City Council approves.

California Law Gives Tenants New Recourse For Moldy Apartments

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Until 2016, the state didn't consider mold a condition of substandard housing.

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