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Stories by Megan Burks

App To Make Your City A Classroom Launches In San Diego

App To Make Your City A Classroom Launches In San Diego

March 9
By Megan Burks

The city as a classroom — that is the vision behind LRNG, a new online platform that connects people to informal learning experiences in their communities.

On Heels Of Measure K, San Diego Republicans Look To Change School ...

On Heels Of Measure K, San Diego Republicans Look To Change School Board Elections

March 6
By Megan Burks

Republicans on the San Diego City Council are pushing for a 2018 ballot measure that would impose term limits on San Diego Unified School Board trustees and change the way they are elected to office.

Otay Reservoir Spills Over Its Dam For The First Time Since 2011

Otay Reservoir Spills Over Its Dam For The First Time Since 2011

March 1
By City News Service, Megan Burks

The Lower Otay Reservoir spilled over its dam Tuesday for the first time in six years because of Monday's heavy rainfall.

What Parents Of Students With Special Needs Can Expect Under San Di...

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

Feb. 24
By Megan Burks

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 Freque...

San Diego Unified Budget Cuts Spare Classrooms But Not Their Frequent Visitors

Feb. 22
By Megan Burks

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, R...

San Diego Unified Proposal Would Eliminate Hundreds Of Positions, Reduce Work Year To Balance Budget

Feb. 20
By Megan Burks

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—C...

Rep. Hunter Wants To Withhold Student Aid From Sanctuary Campuses—Can He Do That?

Feb. 13
By Megan Burks

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

School District Pulls Resolution To Invite Betsy DeVos To San Diego

Feb. 13
By City News Service, Megan Burks

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?

Too Few Preschools—What If Day Cares Were Smarter?

Feb. 9
By Megan Burks

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

San Diego Schools Superintendent To DeVos: Put Fact Before Ideology

Feb. 7
By Megan Burks

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

San Diego State Called Model For Teaching Entrepreneurship

Feb. 6
By Megan Burks

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 ...

Kinsey Art Collection Open To San Diego Teachers For Black History Month—And Beyond

Feb. 3
By Megan Burks

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

Anti-Islamophobia Training Rolls Out In San Diego Schools

Feb. 2
By Megan Burks

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 Lea...

San Diego Educators Working To Make Math Friendlier For English Learners

Feb. 2
By Megan Burks

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

More Than 30,000 San Diegans March For Women's Rights

Jan. 20
By Brooke Ruth, KPBS News, Megan Burks

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 Integ...

San Diego Charter Schools Lead The Pack In Special Ed Program Integration

Jan. 16
By Megan Burks

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 Off...

DA Clears Law Enforcement In Five Shootings, Including El Cajon Officer Who Killed Olango

Jan. 10
By Megan Burks, Tarryn Mento

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...

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

Jan. 4
By City News Service, Megan Burks

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

Cal State San Marcos Sees 20 Percent Jump In Applicants

Jan. 4
By Megan Burks

Cal State San Marcos saw the highest jump in applications among the CSU 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 P...

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

Dec. 28
By Megan Burks

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 ...

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

Dec. 21
By City News Service, Megan Burks

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

San Diego Librarian Shares His Top 12 Kids Books Of 2016

Dec. 19
By Megan Burks

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

San Diego Unified Responds To Families' Fears Under Trump

Dec. 15
By Megan Burks

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

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

Dec. 12
By Megan Burks

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

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

Dec. 8
By Megan Burks

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

Young Photographers Get Hands-On Experience Snapping Holiday Memories

Dec. 7
By Megan Burks

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

San Diego Unified Investigates Allegations Of Corporal Punishment

Dec. 6
By Megan Burks

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 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.