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Stories by Megan Burks

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Governor’s Budget Could Fund New Community College Campus — In The Cloud

Jan. 2
By Megan Burks

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signaled he would like to fund a new kind of community college to help residents who can not attend a brick-and-mortar campus.

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California Community Colleges To Hand Out First Bachelor's Degrees Next Year

Dec. 28, 2017
By Megan Burks

Mesa College will graduate its first cohort of students earning four-year degrees in May. MiraCosta will hand out its first bachelor's degrees in 2019. But the programs' futures are uncertain.

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San Diego Offers Free Christmas Tree Recycling

Dec. 26, 2017
By City News Service, Megan Burks

San Diego kicked off its 44th annual Christmas tree recycling program on Tuesday, with drop-off sites set up around the city for residents who don't have curbside refuse pickup service.

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San Diego Universities Look To Expand Amid Growing Student Interest

Dec. 22, 2017
By Megan Burks

It’s another record year for applications to San Diego’s public universities. But how many of those applications will generate acceptance letters?

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How The Tax Bill Could Impact San Diego Schools

Dec. 20, 2017
By Megan Burks

Deductions for classroom supplies and student loan interest are here to stay under the federal tax bill that passed Wednesday. But educators are worried funding is not.

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Gifts For Young Readers: San Diego County Schools Librarian Shares His Top Picks

Dec. 14, 2017
By Megan Burks

Still looking for gifts for the kids and teens in your life? We sat down with the county schools librarian to get his top picks for children’s books this year.

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As Faculty, Students Revive Mascot Debate, SDSU Revives Its Aztec Language Course

Dec. 13, 2017
By Megan Burks

San Diego State will soon offer a course on the indigenous language of the Aztecs. The announcement comes a month after an advisory group to the university’s president voted to discontinue use of the Aztec mascot.

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What Learning Looks Like: Creating A Well-Tuned Orchestra In Your Head

Dec. 12, 2017
By Megan Burks

Standardized testing has put an intense focus on reading and math in U.S. schools, causing enrollment in arts classes to plummet. So scientists are conducting their own tests — in the form of MRIs and EEGs — to make the case for bringing arts education back.

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As Flames Get Running Start, Region’s Disaster Resources Face Early Glitches

Dec. 8, 2017
By Megan Burks

A high volume of calls and web views meant some San Diegans couldn’t access 211 and Alert San Diego for information on the Lilac Fire.

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Biotech Incubator Lets Clairemont Students Tackle Real-Life Problem — Hepatitis A

Nov. 30, 2017
By Megan Burks

Special anti-bacterial gloves and packaged meals for the homeless are just two ideas Clairemont High School students pitched this week to stop the spread of hepatitis A.

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Barrio Logan Cafe Brews Coffee, Opportunity Where Homeless And Creatives Meet

Nov. 28, 2017
By Megan Burks

The San Diego Coffee Training Institute opened last fall near downtown San Diego's homeless encampments and Barrio Logan's creative entrepreneurs. It's expanding to offer more barista training spots to people who need help.

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San Diego Chamber Urges Congress To Pass Dream Act Before New Year

Nov. 21, 2017
By Megan Burks

A third of San Diego’s workforce is made up of immigrants, and they’re responsible for about a quarter of the region’s gross domestic product, according to the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

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It's Fifth-Grade Music For All Under San Diego Unified Arts Plan

Nov. 20, 2017
By Megan Burks

Year two of the district's five-year plan to expand arts education also comes with a new private foundation to help cover costs.

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Escondido Students Step Into Shoes Of Teachers, Museum Curators

Nov. 17, 2017
By Megan Burks

Do you know it well enough to teach it? That’s the question a unique partnership with the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum is posing to sophomores at Del Lago Academy.

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Barrera, San Diego Nonprofits Eye Commercial Property Taxes To Boost Schools

Nov. 15, 2017
By Megan Burks

Next year, San Diego Unified is expected to face a $59 million shortfall due to rising pension costs — that after $124 million in cuts this year. Now, San Diego nonprofits are joining an effort to get a ballot initiative that would change the rules for taxes that fund schools.

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Southwestern College Steps Up Services Amid Increasing Student Homelessness

Nov. 14, 2017
By Megan Burks

Last year, Southwestern College opened a food pantry to help students experiencing hunger. As they came forward, the school learned many were also homeless.

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In San Diego County, $145 Million For School Meals Goes Untapped

Nov. 1, 2017
By Megan Burks

San Diego County children were eligible for more federally-subsidized meals than schools and community nonprofits served up during the 2015-16 school year.

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First Person: Telling Students They, Too, Can Go From Compton To Neurobiology

Oct. 30, 2017
By Megan Burks

University of California faculty who were the first in their families to go to college are making an effort this year to connect with first-generation students. “You would not have predicted that I would be a full professor,” says a UC San Diego neurobiologist.

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Council Members Ask San Diegans To Pick Up School Board Election Hot Potato

Oct. 19, 2017
By Megan Burks

Members of the San Diego City Council are urging the public to put forward a 2018 ballot initiative to change how school board members are elected.

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Barrera Says San Diego Unified Might Take A Run At 2018 Funding Measure

Oct. 18, 2017
By Megan Burks

At the State of the District Address Tuesday, School Board President Richard Barrera said the district is exploring whether to put an initiative on the ballot.

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Calexico Campus To Weigh In On Search For Next SDSU President

Oct. 17, 2017
By Megan Burks

Members of the search committee are in Calexico Tuesday to learn what students and faculty at San Diego State’s Imperial Valley satellite want in a new president.

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Governor Fast Tracks Remedial Education Reform In California Community Colleges

Oct. 16, 2017
By Megan Burks

Research has shown the existing system to bring underprepared college students up to speed can actually hurt their chances of earning a degree.

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It's 'DACA Week' At California Community Colleges

Oct. 16, 2017
By Megan Burks

San Diego campuses are responding with a full slate of events — everything from legal clinics to workshops on managing stress.

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Nonprofit Teaches ‘Knife Skills And Life Skills’ To San Diegans In Need Of Jobs

Oct. 11, 2017
By Megan Burks

There’s a chance the cook at your favorite San Diego restaurant used to be in prison or homeless. Southeastern San Diego nonprofit Kitchens for Good has helped place more than 100 people in San Diego’s culinary industry since its founding two years ago.

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Search For Next San Diego State President Kicks Off Monday

Sept. 25, 2017
By Megan Burks

Want to weigh in on the search for SDSU’s next president? The hiring committee is hosting a public forum from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Monday in the school’s alumni center.

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Cajon Valley Union One Of Several Districts Taking On Social Emotional Learning This Year

Sept. 21, 2017
By Megan Burks

More than 160 schools in San Diego County are rolling out new curriculum designed to help students understand their emotions and resolve conflicts.

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Bill Would Force Community Colleges' Hands On Remediation Reforms

Sept. 18, 2017
By Megan Burks

Assembly Bill 705 would do away with the placement tests California community colleges give to incoming students. It would also prohibit remedial courses for all but the most underprepared.

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Alliant University Course Aims To Professionalize Street Outreach Workers

Sept. 15, 2017
By Megan Burks

Agencies in Los Angeles know former gang members and the formerly incarcerated are some of the best equipped to help break the cycles of violence and incarceration in urban communities. Now a class at Alliant University is aiming to professionalize the craft here in San Diego.

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Sweetwater Bets On Game Theory (And More) To Solve California's Remedial Math Problem

Sept. 11, 2017
By Megan Burks

Colleges recently announced changes to tackle the problem on their end. The Sweetwater Union High School District and San Diego State are looking for solutions in high schools.

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California Defiant In Early Talks About Rollback Of Campus Sexual Assault Protections

Sept. 8, 2017
By Megan Burks

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos this week said she intends to rewrite federal guidance on how colleges should react to reports of sexual assault. California’s public university systems intend to press forward with their Obama-era reforms anyway.

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San Diego Unified Has Always Lost Seniors; Here’s How It Plans To Keep Them

Sept. 7, 2017
By Megan Burks

About 10 percent of seniors in the class of 2016 left district-managed schools. Contrary to suspicions they were pushed out to boost the district's graduation rate, seniors have always been leaving.

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San Diego Schools Double Down On Assurances For Students Following DACA Decision

Sept. 6, 2017
By Megan Burks

San Diego educators are reminding parents that all children have a Constitutional right to education and are safe from immigration enforcement on school grounds.

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San Diego DACA Recipients, Supporters Brace For President's Decision

Sept. 4, 2017
By Associated Press, Megan Burks

President Donald Trump is expected to decide Tuesday whether to continue DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The program granted deportation relief to some 800,000 people who were brought to the country illegally as children.

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Cuyamaca College Offers Case Study In Eliminating The 'Math Pipeline Of Doom'

Aug. 31, 2017
By Megan Burks

As if the start of school isn't enough stress, math faculty at Cal State San Marcos and San Diego State University are embarking this week on a complete overhaul of their curriculum. The clock is ticking to implement a new policy that does away with some common math classes in an effort to help more students graduate.

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Remember When San Diego Unified Had An MRAP? District Says It Won’t Happen Again

Aug. 30, 2017
By Megan Burks

The district said it has no plans to acquire surplus military equipment now that President Donald Trump has reinstated a program that transfers combat vehicles and gear to local law enforcement agencies.

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900 UC Faculty To First Generation Students: We Feel You

Aug. 24, 2017
By Megan Burks

The University of California has announced a new initiative to help first-generation college students connect with faculty members who were once in their shoes.

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Could Chocolate Milk Sour Chula Vista’s Progress On Childhood Obesity?

Aug. 17, 2017
By Megan Burks

It’s back to school for many San Diego County students this month. In Chula Vista, it’s also back to school for chocolate milk. The Chula Vista Elementary School District has lifted a 5-year-old ban on the beverage.

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San Diego County School Districts Under The Wire To Draft Suicide Prevention Policies

Aug. 9, 2017
By Megan Burks

So far, 11 out of the 42 districts in San Diego County have attended workshops to draft their policies.

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More Immunizations — And Maybe More Online Schooling — Under New Vaccine Rule

Aug. 7, 2017
By Megan Burks

The latest numbers show more students are getting immunized, but a small number may have found alternatives.

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One Less Hurdle For California Transfer Students Beginning In 2018

Aug. 3, 2017
By Megan Burks

The California State University system is eliminating a math requirement that, for many, has made transferring to a four-year university a pipe dream.

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Carlsbad Students Get Lesson In Media Literacy On Trip To Greece

July 31, 2017
By Megan Burks

Fifteen students from the Pacific Ridge School traveled to Greece in May to get to the truth of the migrant crisis there.

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Comic-Con For Educators: Comics To The Rescue (Of English Learners And History Students)

July 21, 2017
By Megan Burks

The San Diego Central Library this year continues its tradition of melding Comic-Con and education. This weekend it will host teachers from Helix Charter High School who use comics to teach everything from algebra to French history.

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Comic-Con For Educators: 'Its OK To Be Odd' And Other Lessons For College

July 20, 2017
By Megan Burks

There is an unexpected thread running through several of the panels at Comic-Con this year: mental health. We talk with two panelists focusing on student well-being.

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Taking A Cue From K-12, National University Launches Precision Institute

July 20, 2017
By Megan Burks

National University announced a $20 million initiative Wednesday aimed at taking personalized learning from K-12 classrooms to the lecture hall.

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Comic-Con For Educators: Ramona High Eases Into ‘The Odyssey’ With Graphic Novel

July 18, 2017
By Megan Burks

This week, downtown San Diego will be filled with fantastical creatures, comic book villains — and everyday superheroes. Teachers come to Comic-Con each year to present on using pop culture in the classroom. This year, they include educators from Ramona High School.

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Judge Sides With College Board; Scripps Ranch Grads Will Have To Take Retests

July 14, 2017
By Megan Burks

A judge will not grant a temporary restraining order on the College Board’s decision to invalidate hundreds of Scripps Ranch High School Advanced Placement tests.

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How To Bring This Private School Teaching Method Into A Public School Classroom

July 13, 2017
By Megan Burks

More like dinner with intellectuals than a class, students learning through the Exeter Academy's Harkness model sit around a table and discuss a text or question.

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Hearing In San Diego Unified Suit Against The College Board Set For Friday

July 10, 2017
By Megan Burks

The district is pushing for an expedited court case to reinstate Scripps Ranch High School AP tests the College Board ruled invalid. It could have a decision as early as Friday.

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San Diego State Raises Rainbow Flag To Celebrate Pride

July 7, 2017
By Megan Burks

The event was the first public appearance of Sally Roush since taking the helm as president of SDSU this week.

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San Diego Unified Taking College Board To Court Over AP Test Decision

July 7, 2017
By Megan Burks

The College Board has decided to invalidate some 800 Advanced Placement tests taken at Scripps Ranch High School because students were seated too close together.