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Stories by Megan Burks

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

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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 Frequent Visitors

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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, Reduce Work Year To Balance Budget

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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—Can He Do That?

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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 Month—And Beyond

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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

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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 Learners

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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

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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 Integration

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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 Officer Who Killed Olango

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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.

San Diego State To Get Future Teachers From College To Classroom In 4 Years

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San Diego State University announced Wednesday that it was awarded nearly $750,000 in state grants to fast-track the education of prospective teachers in order to reduce a shortage of educators in California.

Cal State San Marcos Sees 20 Percent Jump In Applicants

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Cal State San Marcos saw the highest jump in applications among the C-S-U campuses this year. Since 2015, the campus has seen a 20 percent increase in prospective students.

San Diego Unified: Incident At Horton Elementary Was Not Corporal Punishment

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Parents complained in October their children were injured after being forced to hold a plank position on hot blacktop as punishment.

San Diego County Kids Outperform State In Fitness Testing. How Did Your District Do?

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The physical fitness of San Diego County students held steady last year as that of students statewide dipped slightly.

San Diego Librarian Shares His Top 12 Kids Books Of 2016

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The San Diego County Office of Education's head librarian lists his top children's and young adult books of 2016.

San Diego Unified Responds To Families' Fears Under Trump

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An event to promote inclusiveness Wednesday is just one of the ways district staff are addressing student and parent concerns following a divisive election.

$116M In The Red, San Diego Unified Looks To Close Its Budget Gap

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The Board of Education will discuss this week where to cut if the district's financial outlook doesn't improve.

MiraCosta College Gets $6M To Offer Workforce Training At No Cost

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When a U.S. company brings an immigrant worker into the country on an H-1B visa, it pays the federal government a fee to help train American workers to one day fill the job. Now that money is flowing into San Diego County.

Young Photographers Get Hands-On Experience Snapping Holiday Memories

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San Diego students got on-the-job training and their parents, early holiday gifts at a free portrait event Tuesday.

San Diego Unified Investigates Allegations Of Corporal Punishment

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Parents complained children suffered burns on their hands after Horton Elementary School's principal allegedly forced them to hold a push-up position on hot blacktop.

Test Maker Announces Special Accommodations For English Language Learners

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Beginning in 2017, English-language learners taking the ACT college entrance exam can take advantage of special accommodations.

San Diego Law Enforcement Won't Change Immigration Enforcement Policies Under Trump

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The San Diego police and sheriff's departments said they do not intend to change their relationships with federal immigration enforcement agencies when President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

San Diego State Investigates Hate Crime, Vandalism Found At UC San Diego

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Campus police say the suspects allegedly made comments about President-elect Donald Trump and Muslims before stealing a student's belongings.

Board Appointee Appears To Have Won San Diego School Board Seat

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With all precincts reporting, board appointee Sharon Whitehurst-Payne leads LaShae Collins in the race to represent schools in the southeastern region of the city. Some provisional and mail-in ballots remain uncounted.

Southeastern San Diego School Board Candidates Make Their Case To Voters Citywide

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Last school year it was all eyes on Marne Foster. Now, two candidates are competing to replace her in District E and put the focus back on students.

Posters Critical Of BDS Movement Found Again At San Diego State

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President Elliot Hirshman, who faced criticism for his handling of similar posters in April, denounced them as "intentionally inflammatory."

Some Worry Toussaint Closure Will Send Homeless Teens Back To Instability

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For nearly 25 years, the Toussaint Academy downtown has given homeless teens in San Diego a place to call home. It will soon close and reopen as apartments for homeless adults.

Decade-Old Law Could Protect San Diego Tenants — Or Not

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Fixing bad housing often means displacing tenants. There's an ordinance on the books that could protect such renters — if the legal community can decide what it means.

Former Tenants Of Derelict Landlord Tossed Into Punishing Rental Market

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In 2015, KPBS and Voice of San Diego uncovered stacks of complaints about gas leaks, sewage backups and other housing problems linked to one San Diego County landlord. Nearly two years later, we checked in with his former tenants and found a new story — about San Diego's housing crisis.

Celebrating 70 Years Of 'Awkward Showers And Fun Hikes' At Sixth-Grade Camp

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Millions of San Diegans have eaten in the mess hall at the county's sixth-grade camp. This week, birthday cake is on the menu. To celebrate, we've collected some of your sixth-grade camp memories.

Here Are Some Of San Diego Teachers' Favorite Apps

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In a recent survey, 90 percent of educators said they expect half of their classroom materials to be online by 2019. Here's a look at some of the apps they're using to do that.

Green, Libertarian Parties See Gains In San Diego Voters

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Voter registration in San Diego County slowed to a crawl after the June primary — except for the Green and Libertarian parties.

San Diego-Based Bridgepoint Agrees To Refund Student Loan Payments

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Bridgepoint Education, the parent company of Ashford University, will pay $23.5 million to settle allegations that it used deceptive practices to get students to take out in-house student loans.

San Diego Assemblywoman Says New School Grading System Needs Work

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Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to weigh in this week on a bill by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber that seeks to use the new school grading system to narrow the achievement gap.

White House Honors San Diego High Junior For Her Poetry

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Maya Salameh joined four other teens to read her poetry in the White House State Dining Room Thursday.

Community Colleges Roll Out Welcome Mat For Jilted ITT Tech Students

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Southwestern and Palomar colleges say they're ready to enroll students hit by the closure of ITT Technical Institute campuses in National City and Vista.

What Learning Looks Like: Researcher Teaches Fake Words To Watch Learning Happen

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We're exploring learning at the cellular level in a new education series called "What Learning Looks Like." The goal is to help us understand how learning happens — or should happen — in our everyday lives.

We're Following A First-Year Teacher To Learn About Special Ed's Challenges

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You might have heard the statistic: Half of all teachers quit within five years. That number has been disputed, but what isn't is that teaching is hard, and teaching special education is even harder.

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.

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