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Stories by Megan Burks

Test Maker Announces Special Accommodations For English Language Le...

Test Maker Announces Special Accommodations For English Language Learners

Nov. 21
By Megan Burks

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 Poli...

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

Nov. 16
By Megan Burks

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 ...

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

Nov. 9
By Megan Burks

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

Board Appointee Appears To Have Won San Diego School Board Seat

Nov. 8
By Megan Burks

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 V...

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

Oct. 11
By Megan Burks

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

Posters Critical Of BDS Movement Found Again At San Diego State

Oct. 7
By Megan Burks

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 Insta...

Some Worry Toussaint Closure Will Send Homeless Teens Back To Instability

Oct. 5
By Megan Burks

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

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

Oct. 4
By Megan Burks

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 Ma...

Former Tenants Of Derelict Landlord Tossed Into Punishing Rental Market

Oct. 3
By Megan Burks

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-Gr...

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

Sept. 26
By Megan Burks

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

Here Are Some Of San Diego Teachers' Favorite Apps

Sept. 22
By Megan Burks

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

Green, Libertarian Parties See Gains In San Diego Voters

Sept. 16
By Megan Burks

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

San Diego-Based Bridgepoint Agrees To Refund Student Loan Payments

Sept. 13
By Megan Burks

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

San Diego Assemblywoman Says New School Grading System Needs Work

Sept. 12
By Megan Burks

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

White House Honors San Diego High Junior For Her Poetry

Sept. 9
By Megan Burks

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

Community Colleges Roll Out Welcome Mat For Jilted ITT Tech Students

Sept. 9
By Megan Burks

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 Le...

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

Sept. 7
By Megan Burks

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 Ch...

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

Sept. 1
By Megan Burks

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

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

Aug. 23
By Megan Burks

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

San Diego Community Colleges Bounce Back From Recession-Era Cuts

Aug. 22
By City News Service, Megan Burks

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

Backpacks Help San Diego Refugees Head Back To School

Aug. 19
By Megan Burks

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

How Chula Vista Library Is Training Budding Engineers

How Chula Vista Library Is Training Budding Engineers

Aug. 18
By Megan Burks

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 Col...

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

Aug. 17
By Megan Burks

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 Boar...

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

Aug. 16
By Megan Burks

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 Engineeri...

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

Aug. 8
By Megan Burks

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

San Diego County Says More Kids Heading To Kindergarten Vaccinated

Aug. 3
By Megan Burks

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

City Council Moves San Diego High School Issue To The Ballot

Aug. 2
By Megan Burks

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

Working Grad Students Ask California State University For Higher Pay

July 22
By Megan Burks

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

Inmates At Donovan State Prison Eligible For Federal College Funds

July 19
By Megan Burks

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

San Diego Coastkeeper Offers Lessons For Students, Teachers

July 18
By Megan Burks

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...

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

July 14
By Megan Burks

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'

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

July 8
By Megan Burks

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

Chula Vista Man Arrested In San Diego Homeless Attacks

July 7
By Megan Burks, Tarryn Mento

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

San Diego Homeless Worried After Series Of Assaults

July 6
By Megan Burks

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

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

June 30
By Megan Burks

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

Lawmakers Want To Make Rape Survivor's Letter Required Reading

June 29
By Megan Burks

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

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

June 16
By Megan Burks

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

San Diego Unified Hopes To Expand Access To College Courses

June 13
By Megan Burks

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

Achievement Gap For Blacks, Latinos In San Diego Unified Narrows

June 10
By Megan Burks

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 Elect...

San Diego Voters Excited, Worried About November Presidential Election

June 8
By Megan Burks, Tarryn Mento

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

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

June 7
By Claire Trageser, Megan Burks

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

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

June 3
By Megan Burks

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?

Does San Diego State's Aztec Mascot Perpetuate Racism?

June 2
By Megan Burks

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

Most San Diego Candidates Fail To Respond To Racial Justice Survey

May 31
By Megan Burks

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

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

May 30
By Megan Burks

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...

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

May 27
By Megan Burks

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 El...

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

May 23
By Megan Burks

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

#IfIHadAVote: Talking Politics With Lakeside Teens

May 20
By Megan Burks

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

Diversity Still Lags Among SDSU Graduates Planning To Be Teachers

May 12
By Megan Burks

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

San Diego Unified High School Graduation Rates Higher Than Expected

May 11
By Megan Burks

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.