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Joe Hong

Education Reporter - Contributor through June 2021

Photo of Joe Hong

Joe Hong covered education stories across KPBS platforms. Prior to joining the KPBS newsroom, 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 participating in a distance learning ...

San Diego Unified Reports Lower Grades, Higher Absenteeism During Pandemic Year

June 3
By Joe Hong

Black and Latinx students as well as English learners and students with disabilities were more likely to be chronically absent or receive a failing grade during the 2020-21 school year.

A view of the San Diego Public Library, Sept. 9...

San Diego Public Library Starts Summer Reading Challenge

June 1
By Joe Hong

Librarians hope this year’s program can boost reading skills, especially in those students who have fallen behind this year.

Activist protest San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria's ...

Activists Gather At San Diego City Hall To Protest Mayor’s Police Budget

May 25
By Joe Hong

Protesters spoke out against a nearly $19 million increase to the police department’s budget, saying the money should go to homelessness services, better parks and supports for youth.

The outside of the Board of Education building ...

San Diego County School Officials Expect Full Return To In-Person Learning In Fall

May 24
By Joe Hong

The California Legislature is unlikely to require vaccines and state officials have yet to say whether masking and physical distancing rules will remain in place.

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Steph...

New Juvenile Diversion Initiative Aims To Keep Youth Out Of Prison Pipeline

May 20
By Joe Hong

The initiative would divert youth arrested for misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies away from the criminal justice system and into counseling and mentorship programs.

San Diego City College is pictured in this phot...

Community College Enrollment Drops During Pandemic As Students Prioritize Employment

May 19
By Joe Hong

Following a statewide trend, San Diego City College’s enrollment declined by about 15% this year.

A student at Joseph Casillas Elementary School ...

Experts Say Arts Education Should Be Emphasized As Students Return To Classrooms

May 14
By Joe Hong

Although learning loss is a concern, parents and teachers shouldn’t hyper-focus on it given the anxiety many students have about going back to in-person school.

The San Diego Unified School District Board of ...

San Diego Unified Outlines Efforts To Diversify Its Teacher And Administrator Ranks

May 12
By Joe Hong

The district hopes to close a yawning gap between the number of students who identify as people of color and the number of teachers who do the same.

The San Diego Police Department seal is seen on...

Questions Raised Over Proposed Increase In San Diego Police Budget

May 7
By Joe Hong

Some councilmembers and residents say money should be diverted from police to fund community health initiatives. Others point to increased violent crime as justification for a higher budget.

A student participating in a distance learning ...

San Diego County Sees Big Drop In English Learner Enrollment

April 30
By Joe Hong

Educators attribute the decline, which is also happening statewide, to economic factors and challenges in communication during the pandemic.

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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, 2020
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, 2020
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.