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Stories by Megan Burks

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His Parents Were Deported Two Weeks Before College, Now He’s A UC San Diego Graduate

June 18
By Megan Burks

Leon Sanchez Reyes is one of an untold number of students who straddle the U.S.-Mexico border — caught between two worlds amid stepped-up immigration enforcement under President Donald Trump and, before him, President Barack Obama.

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District, Union-Backed Proposal On School Board Elections Inching Toward The Ballot

June 14
By Megan Burks

The city attorney’s office is now reviewing a ballot proposal that would establish three four-year term limits for San Diego Unified trustees. The review is one of the final steps before voters would be asked to weigh in this November.

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Goodbye Buses, Hello Virtual Field Trips: Tech Takes El Cajon Students Beyond The Classroom

June 14
By Megan Burks

The big, yellow bus is often a prime target for school budget cuts, which means students are going on fewer field trips. The Cajon Valley Union School District may have found a solution.

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San Diego City Colleges To Offer Two Years Free Tuition

June 11
By Megan Burks

With the state now picking up the tab for the first year, the San Diego Community College District has announced it's able to cover students’ second year.

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Incumbents Muñoz, Shea Keep Seats For County Board Of Education Districts 3 And 5

June 5
By Megan Burks

San Diego County Board of Education District 3 incumbent Alicia Muñoz and District 5 incumbent Rick Shea held their leads.

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Incumbents, Write-In Candidates Advance To November San Diego Unified Board Races B, C

June 5
By Megan Burks

With all precincts reporting, incumbent Kevin Beiser has 91.6 percent of the vote, while write-in candidates have 8.4 percent of the vote. Incumbent Michael McQuary has 90.7 percent of votes, while write-in candidates have 9.3 percent.

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Nonprofit Makes Final Push To Boost Voter Turnout In City Heights

June 5
By Megan Burks

Since April, volunteers and community organizers have contacted thousands of City Heights residents in an effort to increase voter turnout there.

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Forty Years Later, Proposition 13 Is Proof Your Vote Matters

June 5
By Megan Burks

Passed 40 years ago Wednesday, Proposition 13 has had deep and lasting impacts on the state of California.

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Sweetwater Embraces Move From Textbook Civics To Civic Engagement

June 4
By Megan Burks

California schools are adopting a civics education model that reaches beyond the branches of government to tackle real-life problems and build a more civil future.

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Two Proposals For SD Unified Term Limits Vie For Spot On November Ballot

May 30
By Megan Burks

The San Diego Unified School Board wants three four-year terms. An outside group wants just two terms.

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Registrar Certifies Write-In Candidates For San Diego Unified Board Races

May 30
By Megan Burks

It’s official. There are now challengers in the races for two seats on the San Diego Unified School Board.

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Fallbrook High Loses Millions Of Dollars As Districts Jockey For Students

May 25
By Megan Burks

Faced with declining birth rates and competition from charter schools, some districts are turning to magnet schools to attract new students. What happens to the districts losing students?

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National City Teachers Vote In Favor Of Strike

May 22
By Megan Burks

National City could become the next battleground in a nationwide wave of teacher strikes.

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Uncontested San Diego Unified Elections May Be Contested After All

May 22
By Megan Burks

Two San Diegans say they’ve gathered enough signatures to qualify as write-in candidates for San Diego Unified School Board.

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First Students To Earn Bachelor’s Degrees At Mesa College Graduate This Weekend

May 18
By Megan Burks

The graduates are some of the first in the state to earn four-year degrees through a community college.

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Committee Recommends Ballot Measure To Lower The Voting Age In San Diego Unified Races

May 17
By Megan Burks

A majority of San Diegans surveyed said they don’t want to let teenagers vote for school board trustees. But a committee is recommending the San Diego Unified School Board propose a ballot measure to lower the voting age anyway.

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Survey: Majority Favors Term Limits, Local-Only Elections For San Diego Unified Trustees

May 15
By Megan Burks

Based on feedback from an online survey and series of town hall meetings, an advisory committee says the San Diego Unified Board should let voters decide on election reforms.

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Six Community College District Seats Are Up For Election — Why It Matters

May 15
By Megan Burks

Six community college trustee seats are up for grabs across San Diego County this election. What do the trustees do and why should you care?

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Charter Or Labor Majority At Stake In San Diego County School Board Races

May 11
By Megan Burks

The last time County Board of Education seats were up for election, charter school advocates narrowly missed gaining a majority. Now they have a second chance.

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San Diego Unified Superintendent Seeks Charter Changes Following Critical Report

May 9
By City News Service, Megan Burks

Citing a report that contends the district loses $65.9 million a year in state funding due to students attending area charter schools, San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten called Tuesday for greater local control in the review of charter applications.

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Group Is Challenging San Diego Unified's Elections Instead Of Its Incumbents

May 7
By Megan Burks

Incumbent school board trustees Kevin Beiser and Michael McQuary will more or less cruise into their third and second terms. But some community members are hoping to install a few speed bumps on the road to re-election in San Diego Unified.

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Thousands Of San Diego County Youth Registered To Vote In March

April 30
By Megan Burks

Voter registration has been a major push of the school walkouts and marches following the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

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School Board Election Town Halls Wrap Saturday

April 27
By Megan Burks

The meetings were a chance for people to weigh in on whether San Diego Unified School Board trustees should have term limits and be elected in smaller, local runoffs, among other things.

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Former Donovan Inmate Takes His College Degree Beyond The Barbed Wire

April 27
By Megan Burks

A Southwestern College program aims to help inmates stay out of prison once they're released by offering them associate's degrees. Now a former student inmate is putting it to the test.

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Donovan Inmates Work Toward College Degree Through Obama-Era Program

April 26
By Megan Burks

Prisoners have long taken correspondence courses to earn college credits behind bars. But inmates at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in Otay Mesa are participating in a rare face-to-face program.

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Another Twist In Parent's Quest To Bring Transitional Kindergarten To Del Mar

April 23
By Megan Burks

Del Mar Union is one in a small number of districts that don’t offer transitional kindergarten, even though the California Department of Education says they should under its interpretation of state law.

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For The Second Time, San Diego Students Walk Out Against Gun Violence

April 20
By City News Service, Megan Burks

Students from about two dozen San Diego County schools walked out of class Friday for the second time in just over a month to protest gun violence and urge politicians to better protect campuses.

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San Diego County High School Students Host 49th District Forum

April 16
By Megan Burks

From learning about the political process to being part of it, students at two San Diego schools hosted a forum Tuesday for candidates in the 49th Congressional District.

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A Rarity Among California School Districts, Vista Unified Funds New Bus Routes

April 13
By Megan Burks

Changes to enrollment boundaries that have allowed the Vista Unified School District to grow its magnet program have also stretched student commutes.

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In Vista Unified, More School Choice Means More Traffic

April 12
By Megan Burks

As more Vista families choose schools farther from home, they’re spending more time on the road. Some are worried about the social and environmental consequences.

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Dozens Of Gun Control Advocates Attend Cajon Valley School Board Meeting

April 10
By Megan Burks

San Diegans For Gun Violence Prevention is asking local school districts to adopt resolutions supporting federal gun legislation. About 90 of its members are expected to attend a Cajon Valley Union School Board meeting to apply pressure — riled up by a response from one of its trustees.

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Town Halls On San Diego Unified Board Elections Begin This Week

April 9
By Megan Burks

Should the city change San Diego Unified School Board elections? The board has appointed a committee to get public input on the question.

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San Diego Unified Reaches Tentative Contract Agreement With Union

April 4
By City News Service, Megan Burks

The district and the San Diego Education Association reached the agreement at 1:40 a.m. after a 16-hour bargaining session that culminated a year of negotiations. The agreement must be ratified by union members and the San Diego school board in order to take effect.

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Magnet Schools And Vista Unified: How We Crunched The Numbers

April 4
By Brandon Quester / inewsource, Megan Burks

To identify the impact of magnet schools in the Vista Unified School District, KPBS and inewsource needed a quantifiable way to measure what parents of students and teachers were saying: Magnet schools have disproportionately shifted the racial makeup of schools across the district.

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Once Used To Integrate Schools, Magnets May Be Creating Divisions In Vista

April 4
By Brandon Quester / inewsource, Megan Burks

A data analysis by KPBS and inewsource suggests Vista’s white, more affluent children are disproportionately benefiting from Vista Unified School District’s magnet schools.

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From Defensive Bras To Mandatory Training: 30 Years Of Sexual Assault Awareness At UCSD

April 2
By Megan Burks

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month, but one woman has been working to spread awareness at UC San Diego just about every month since 1988. She sat down with KPBS to talk about how things have changed in that time.

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Thousands Denounce Gun Violence At San Diego's 'March For Our Lives'

March 24
By Associated Press, KPBS News, Megan Burks

Thousands of San Diegans decried gun violence in downtown San Diego as part of the nationwide demonstrations called the "March For Our Lives" by organizers. The protests were planned as a response to the Feb. 14 shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school that killed 17 people.

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Immigrant Arrested In National City In Widely Seen Video Is Released In Bond Hearing

March 20
By Associated Press, Megan Burks

A judge ruled the woman wasn't a danger to society or a flight risk. The woman's immigration case will be sent to federal court in San Diego.

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State Filings Seem To Contradict SDSU West Pitch That The University Is Out Of Space

March 19
By Megan Burks

San Diego State University appears to be using its classrooms less efficiently than the state would like. The university says the state’s guidelines are out of touch with how campuses are used.

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Thousands Of San Diego Students Walk Out In Protest Of Gun Violence

March 14
By City News Service, Elma Gonzalez, Megan Burks

Thousands of San Diego County students walked out of classes Wednesday morning as part of a nationwide action to honor the 17 people killed in last month's school shooting in Florida and urge federal action to curb gun violence.

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For San Diego Students, School Walkout Is A Warm-Up For The Ballot Box

March 14
By Megan Burks

More than 30 San Diego-area schools have signed up to host walkouts against school gun violence Wednesday.

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San Diego Unified Teachers Use 'Work To Rule' In Push For Higher Wages, Lower Class Sizes

March 13
By Megan Burks

They’re still a ways off from striking like their colleagues in West Virginia, but San Diego Unified teachers are taking a step back from work to pressure the district in contract negotiations.

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Following Immigration Arrest Caught On Video, National City Residents Strategize To Protect Undocumented Neighbors

March 9
By Megan Burks

Activists held a press conference in National City after video surfaced showing a mother being arrested in front of her children by U.S. Customs and Border agents because she had allegedly been living in the U.S. illegally.

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From Cookies To The Classroom, More San Diego Kids Are Learning About Entrepreneurship

March 9
By Megan Burks

Are you guilty of avoiding Girl Scouts at the grocery store? Your avoidance is teaching them a lesson more and more educators say is important — how to innovate.

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How San Diego Schools Handle Threats Of Mass Violence

March 2
By Megan Burks

San Diego law enforcement have investigated at least 45 school shooting threats since 2014. They believe they've stopped two planned attacks.

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Helix Students Raise Their Voices Amid Upswell Of Youth Activism

Feb. 28
By Megan Burks

The students want training for police and a shift in campus culture after a La Mesa officer slammed their classmate to the ground last month.

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San Diego Unified To Close Four Child Development Centers In June

Feb. 27
By Megan Burks

The district says it’s closing the centers — Kennedy CDC in Lincoln Park, Brooklyn CDC in Golden Hill, Bayview CDC in Pacific Beach and Montezuma CDC in the College Area — due to poor enrollment and because consolidating elsewhere will allow the district open more preschool slots.

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San Diego Students Likely Won't Face Suspensions For School Walkout Against Gun Violence

Feb. 23
By Megan Burks

Students are expected to walk out of school on March 14 for 17 minutes — one for each person killed in a school shooting in Florida this month.

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Teachers And District At Stalemate In National City Over Millions In Untapped Funds

Feb. 16
By Megan Burks

Nearly 60 percent of National City teachers surveyed said they don’t have the materials they need to implement Common Core standards.

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Program That Brought College Classes To Donovan Inmates Has Friend In Betsy DeVos

Feb. 12
By Megan Burks

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos shocked many last week when she told reporters she supports the Second Chance Pell Grant program.

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