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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 student walks by Conrad Prebys Aztec Student ...

Applying For College: Another Ritual Upended By Pandemic

Dec. 4
By Joe Hong

Students say there's even more uncertainty in the already stressful process. And with in-person tours and campus visits cancelled, university officials must rely on virtual experiences to recruit students.

A young girl with a face mask sits at a desk at...

San Diego Unified Delays In-Person Learning Due To COVID-19 Surge

Dec. 2
By Joe Hong

Planned campus reopenings are on indefinite hold, but the district will continue offering in-person instruction to a small group of struggling students.

Shoppers at Best Buy in Mission Valley on Black...

Virus Keeps Black Friday Crowds Thin, Shoppers Shift Online

Nov. 27
By Joe Hong and Anne D'Innocenzio, Josehp Pisani and Alexandra Olson / Associated Press

After months of slumping sales and businesses toppling into bankruptcy, Black Friday is offering a small beacon of hope. But a spike in coronavirus cases is threatening the economy’s recovery from the sudden plunge in the spring.

A teacher guides students through a lesson at L...

For Teachers, Taking A Day Off During Distance Learning Comes With Big Challenges

Nov. 25
By Joe Hong

Right now, as the pandemic rages, districts are barely meeting the need for substitute teachers. The shortage could get worse if more schools open for in-person instruction.

The San Diego Unified School District headquart...

San Diego Unified Distributes Extra Meals To Students Ahead Of Holiday

Nov. 24
By Joe Hong

Since the start of the pandemic, the district has distributed more than 8 million meals to needy students.

Francis Parker School in Linda Vista in this fi...

San Diego Private, Public Schools Have Differing Rules On In-Person Teaching

Nov. 17
By Joe Hong

Students described the policy requiring teachers with immunocompromised family members to teach in-person as “immoral,” but experts say it’s technically legal.

Kim Denson, a bus driver at Poway Unified Schoo...

After Sitting Idle For Months, School Buses Are Slowly Getting Back On The Road

Nov. 11
By Joe Hong

In Poway Unified, the transportation department has taken cleanliness to a new level as it promises students safe rides to and from school.

The outside of the San Diego Unified School Dis...

Local Education Funding Hangs In The Balance As State And National Vote Counts Continue

Nov. 5
By Joe Hong

The outcome for California’s Proposition 15 and U.S. Senate races could determine whether San Diego schools can fully reopen amid the pandemic and avoid a budget deficit next year.

The San Diego Unified School District Board of ...

Six Candidates Face Off To Fill Three Seats On San Diego Unified School Board

Nov. 3
By Joe Hong

The candidates have different priorities and ideas for navigating the district through the pandemic and the reckoning in racial justice.

Shown above are San Diego city attorney candida...

Mara Elliott Defeats Cory Briggs For San Diego City Attorney

Nov. 3
By Joe Hong

City Attorney Mara Elliott says she has the bipartisan support to serve the city in this time of crisis.

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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.