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Joe Hong

Education Reporter

Photo of Joe Hong

Joe Hong has spent the past two years covering education for national and local publications. Most recently, he covered three school districts for The Desert Sun in Palm Springs. He has written about school finance, negligence in special education, and school board misconduct. Previously, he covered equity issues and historically black colleges and universities for Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine based in Fairfax, Virginia.

Before a career in journalism, he was pursuing a doctorate in comparative literature at Rutgers University. He pivoted to journalism in 2016 and earned a master's degree from Columbia Journalism School in 2017, specializing in investigative reporting. In September 2019, he completed The Data Institute, a two-week workshop for journalists of color taught by ProPublica in collaboration with the Ida B. Wells Society.

Recent Stories by Joe Hong

A sign welcoming students back to school at Hed...

Some San Diego Schools May Be Affected By Return To Purple Tier

Sept. 18
By Associated Press, Joe Hong

San Diego County has seen a recent rise in coronavirus cases tied to San Diego State University. Some schools had planned for in-person classes to resume in late September and October.

Scripps Health Medical Center in Escondido is p...

Scripps Health Forms Committee To Assess COVID-19 Vaccines

Sept. 17
By Joe Hong

The hospital systems' committee will have the responsibility of selecting the best vaccines for its patients and employees when they become available.

Tease photo for Community Conversation: Coronavirus I...

Community Conversation: Coronavirus Impacts On Vulnerable Students

Sept. 16
By Brooke Ruth, Joe Hong

On a special episode of KPBS Midday Edition, education reporter Joe Hong speaks with three people who have dedicated their lives to working with students most vulnerable to falling behind during distance learning.

A woman walks by a COVID-19 response sign at th...

UCSD Standing Firm On Ambitious Reopening Plan Despite Outbreaks On Other Campuses

Sept. 10
By Joe Hong

UC San Diego will welcome back 16,000 students in the Fall, more than any other UC campus. Officials are banking on strict testing and safety measures to save it from the fate of other colleges.

Man walking out of 7-Eleven in Bay Park on Aug....

San Diego County Reports 247 COVID-19 Cases, 12 Deaths As SDSU Cracks Down

Sept. 9
By City News Service, Joe Hong

San Diego County public health officials Wednesday reported 247 new COVID-19 infections and 12 additional fatalities, raising the region's totals to 41,324 cases and 721 deaths from the coronavirus.

A Cal Fire firefighter talks on a radio during ...

Valley Fire Grows To Over 17,000 Acres, New Evacuations Ordered

Sept. 7
By City News Service, Joe Hong

The Valley Fire in Japatul Valley near Alpine continued to burn on Labor Day, scorching 17,345 acres with just 3% containment, and causing four new evacuation orders.

Students are shown leaving the Hoover High Scho...

San Diego Schools With Both Academic, COVID-19 Disparities Face Reopening Dilemmas

Sept. 4
By Joe Hong

The parts of San Diego County that have seen the highest rates of COVID-19 infection also contain the schools serving the vulnerable student groups who need in-person learning the most.

The San Diego Unified School District Board of ...

San Diego Unified Students Start Year Facing Both Academic And Social Challenges

Aug. 31
By Joe Hong

With Monday marking the all-virtual start to the school year in the county’s largest district, students grappled with unfamiliar class schedules and wondered how they would meet new friends.

The La Mesa-Spring Valley School District main ...

East County School District Cuts Ties With Online Learning Provider Over Racist, Sexually Suggestive Content

Aug. 27
By Joe Hong

Administrators in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District terminated the contract days before the new school year after hearing reports about the content from districts in other states.

A sign leading onto San Diego State University ...

SDSU Students Greeted With Near-Empty Campus, Strict Rules On First Day

Aug. 24
By Joe Hong

San Diego State University started the new school year with 90% of courses being online-only and dormitories filled to just half capacity. Students must wear masks both inside and outside.

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Stories featuring work by Joe Hong

Storm clouds over Ocean Beach, November 19, 2019.

Santa Ana Winds, Warmer Temperatures Expected In San Diego County

Jan. 6
By City News Service

Gusty winds are expected in San Diego County Monday and could prove hazardous for high-profile vehicles traveling through mountains passes, according to the National Weather Service.

National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis wear...

County Requires Face Covers By May 1, Concerns Rise About Mexico and COVID-19

April 24
By City News Service

The first order will allow ocean access from city beaches for the above-mentioned activities. Piers, boardwalks and parking lots are still closed to the public, and the order does not include boat ramps or watercraft. It also does not apply to state parks and beaches. It also leaves the decision of beach closures to the cities.