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Stories by Megan Burks

A member of the San Diego Education Association...

San Diego Unified Holds Off On Plan That Would Increase Special Education Caseloads

Feb. 4, 2019
By Megan Burks

The district plans to give some teachers new job classifications that would boost their caseload from 20 to 24 students. But teachers say they’re already maxed out.

The San Diego skyline pictured in this undated ...

San Diego Workforce Partnership Developing Student Loan Alternative To Boost Job Training

Jan. 25, 2019
By Megan Burks

The region's workforce development board plans to launch an income share program to help San Diegans finance job training in technology fields.

Students leave Graham Memorial Preschool in Cor...

Report Gives San Diego Preschools Bronze Medal For Quality

Jan. 23, 2019
By Megan Burks

The report looked at the quality of preschool offerings in the nation’s 40 largest cities, and dings San Diego for its class sizes.

Lupita Cortez Alcalá is shown in this undated p...

Second In Charge Of State Schools Was Born In Tijuana, Educated In Poway

Jan. 15, 2019
By Megan Burks

Lupita Cortez Alcalá is also the first Latina to serve as the state’s chief deputy superintendent.

A child at the Mesa Child Development Center pu...

Governor’s Budget A Boon For Early Education, But Help Is Already Coming To San Diego Parents

Jan. 11, 2019
By Megan Burks

A pilot program run out of the San Diego County Office of Education aims to increase the number of parents who utilize state preschool subsidies.

The San Diego Unified School District Board of ...

San Diego Schools Get Boost In Federal Funds For Disadvantaged Kids

Jan. 9, 2019
By Megan Burks

The San Diego Unified School Board has voted to give principals and parents more control over federal dollars traditionally spent by the central office.

A Palomar College sign is shown, Jan. 4, 2019.

Gov. Newsom Wants Free Community College; San Diego Colleges Want To Make It Truly Free

Jan. 9, 2019
By Megan Burks

Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to include free community college tuition in his budget proposal Thursday. Local community colleges say they'll work to cover remaining costs such as textbooks if his plan passes.

Erica Miller takes a photo in Chicano Park, Nov...

Looking Through The Lens At Life After 55: Baby Boomers Not Done Learning

Jan. 4, 2019
By Megan Burks

A class offered by the Museum of Photographic Arts helps adults find fresh perspectives in their later years.

The Sweetwater Union High School District centr...

County Superintendent Appointee Can Now Override Sweetwater Board Decisions

Dec. 21, 2018
By Megan Burks

A fiscal monitor can now override Sweetwater Union High School District School Board decisions he believes will further damage the district’s financial health.

Roberto Bermudez holds a sign that reads,

County Office Of Ed Strengthening Budget Oversight After Scathing Sweetwater Report

Dec. 20, 2018
By Megan Burks

A report this week showed the Sweetwater Union High School District careening toward insolvency, and alleges possible fraud.

Books are shown in a San Diego County Office of...

Gifts For Young Readers: County Schools Librarian Shares His Kid Lit Picks

Dec. 18, 2018
By Megan Burks

Jonathan Hunt vets virtually all new children's book releases for the San Diego County Office of Education. Here are his recommendations for 2018.

A sign at the Vista Academy of Performing Arts ...

Parents Question Vista Unified Proposal To Change Magnet Lottery Process

Dec. 13, 2018
By Megan Burks

Earlier this year, KPBS detailed how magnet schools — once used to desegregate schools — were contributing to new racial divides in Vista Unified. The board will vote Thursday night on a possible solution, but some parents say it goes too far.

The San Diego Unified School District Board of ...

San Diego Unified Looks Ahead To More — But Smaller — Budget Cuts

Dec. 12, 2018
By Megan Burks

With the holiday season comes the start of budget season for San Diego Unified. The board got a look at what’s to come during its meeting Tuesday.

Tease photo for One Last Show For The Late Lou Curtiss

One Last Show For The Late Lou Curtiss

Nov. 16, 2018
By Megan Burks

Musicians and music lovers will gather in El Cajon Sunday to celebrate the life of Lou Curtiss. The beloved music promoter and archivist died in July at the age of 79.

Fire damage at the Alliance of Californians for...

Police: Arson Fire At Chula Vista Nonprofit Was Not Politically Motivated

Nov. 13, 2018
By Megan Burks

Chula Vista police have arrested 28-year-old Christopher Treyvoun Jenkins as the alleged arsonist behind a fire at the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment office Friday.

Arnulfo Brenes, administrative assistant for th...

Arson At Nonprofit That Campaigned For Rent Control Believed To Be Politically Motivated

Nov. 12, 2018
By Megan Burks

Chula Vista police are calling a fire that destroyed the San Diego offices of a statewide social justice nonprofit arson.

Julieta Rodriguez holds a sign that reads,

Sweetwater Budget Woes To Cut Into Already Ailing Adult Education Programs

Nov. 8, 2018
By Megan Burks

The Sweetwater Union High School District is expected to close several classes that help South Bay residents learn English, become citizens and get jobs.

A parked school bus in San Diego, Nov. 1, 2018.

How San Diego County Schools Fared At The Polls

Nov. 7, 2018
By Megan Burks

Voters appear to have given San Diego Unified a passing grade, all but two of 11 school bonds appear to have enough votes to pass, and two political newcomers hold on as votes continue to come in.

The San Diego Unified School District Board of ...

School Board Candidates, Bonds And Term Limits Seek Passing Grade From Voters

Nov. 6, 2018
By Megan Burks

Four candidates are competing for two San Diego Unified School Board seats. Voters will also decide on 11 school bonds and a measure establishing term limits for San Diego Unified trustees.

A woman holds a sign that reads,

San Diego County Has 17K More Youth Voters Than In 2016 — Here's Why

Nov. 1, 2018
By Megan Burks

During the 2014 midterm elections, 22 percent of millennials turned out to vote. This year, an estimated 63 percent of 18 and 19-year-olds alone plan to vote.

A poster says,

San Diego County School Districts Are Leaving $170M In Federal Nutrition Aid On The Table

Oct. 24, 2018
By Megan Burks

The San Diego Hunger Coalition is urging schools and after-school program providers to opt into federal breakfast, supper and summer meal programs.

Donald Moore speaks during a forum on racial pr...

At La Jolla Elementary, A Call For Improved Familiarity With The Black Experience

Oct. 23, 2018
By Megan Burks

San Diego Unified reflects a nationwide trend of having disproportionately few teachers of color. At a forum, community organizers called for the school to help its students get to know black people and their experience in the United States.

A sign points guests toward a groundbreaking ce...

Your Guide To San Diego County’s 11 School Bond Measures

Oct. 22, 2018
By Megan Burks

Voters from Bonsall to the South Bay will be asked to approve school bonds this election. How do you know if the bond on your ballot is a good one?

California Gov. Jerry Brown listens to a questi...

Experts Recommend California’s Next Governor Stay The Course On Brown’s Ed Reforms

Sept. 18, 2018
By Megan Burks

Researchers across the country say the Local Control Funding Formula passed under Gov. Jerry Brown has put California schools on the right track.

Yosimar Reyes (center, with the hat) poses for ...

Poet On Helping Undocumented Students: Pass The Mic

Oct. 15, 2018
By Megan Burks

Yosimar Reyes is tired of “gloom and doom” stories about immigrants living in the country illegally. He visited Grossmont College to talk about changing how we frame immigrant lives.

A sign at San Diego State University offering v...

SDSU To Offer Meningococcal Vaccines After County Declares Campus Outbreak

Oct. 5, 2018
By City News Service, Megan Burks

San Diego State University will offer vaccines against meningococcal B to students Friday and Monday in response to a recent outbreak on the school's campus.

The San Diego Unified School District Board of ...

Ballot Measure Would Establish Term Limits For San Diego Unified Trustees

Oct. 4, 2018
By Megan Burks

Measure H would limit San Diego Unified School District trustees to three terms, starting in 2020. Opponents say it’s a watered-down version of what constituents actually want.

Marcia Nordstrom and Michael McQuary are shown ...

McQuary, Nordstrom Vie To Represent San Diego Unified’s Coastal Schools

Oct. 3, 2018
By Megan Burks

Michael McQuary is a former teacher who joined the board in 2015. Marcia Nordstrom is a parent and real estate professional.

Kevin Beiser and Tom Keliinoi are show in these...

Businessman And Math Teacher Compete For San Diego Unified School Board

Oct. 2, 2018
By Megan Burks

Businessman and charter school co-founder Tom Keliinoi is running against teacher and two-term incumbent Kevin Beiser for San Diego School Board.

The outside of the Board of Education building ...

Lawsuit Challenging SD Unified Elections Seeks To Invalidate This Year’s Board Races

Oct. 1, 2018
By Megan Burks

A lawsuit says San Diego Unified School Board elections disenfranchise minority voters. It seeks changes to how the elections are run and asks the court to invalidate next month’s school board election.

The Community Assistance Support Team visits th...

Conference Is Latest Effort To Professionalize Street Outreach By Ex-Offenders

Sept. 20, 2018
By Megan Burks

A first-of-its-kind conference for San Diego will highlight the work of reformed gang members and the formerly incarcerated in preventing violence and other crime in the region.

Gloria Smith sings,

How A $13.8 Million Gift Could Help Close San Diego's Child Care Gap

Sept. 11, 2018
By Megan Burks

The donation will create hundreds of new preschool slots around the county.

San Diego State University students line up to ...

Health Officials Confident After 1,800 San Diego State Students Treated To Prevent Meningitis

Sept. 10, 2018
By Megan Burks

Health officials believe they have treated all San Diego State University students who may have been in contact with a classmate who was hospitalized for bacterial meningitis last week.

People gather at the Supreme Court awaiting a d...

Union Membership Steady As San Diego Teachers Head Back To School Post-Janus

Sept. 7, 2018
By Megan Burks

The San Diego Education Association has seen few members leave since the Supreme Court ruling on public sector unions, but it will have to tighten its belt.

Elizabeth Peacy works on her final presentation...

Lawmakers Vote To Extend Experimental Baccalaureate Programs At Mesa, MiraCosta Colleges

Sept. 3, 2018
By Megan Burks

Some California community colleges have been offering four-year degrees under a state pilot program. A bill on the governor’s desk would extend the program through 2026.

Shelli Kurth and Nicole Assisi look out the win...

What Three New San Diego Schools Tell Us About Safety And Design

Aug. 28, 2018
By Megan Burks

Educators are trying to build schools that are open and welcoming but don’t compromise security. KPBS spent the summer touring school construction sites to find out how they’re trying to strike that balance.

A student walks by Conrad Prebys Aztec Student ...

How San Diego State Plans To Save Students $2M In Textbooks This Semester

Aug. 20, 2018
By Megan Burks

U.S. college graduates owe an average of $35,000 in student loans. This year, San Diego State is rolling out a textbook program to help chip away at the cost.

A proponent of amending Proposition 13 to incre...

Coalition Submits Signatures To Amend Proposition 13 In 2020 Election

Aug. 14, 2018
By City News Service, Megan Burks

Backers of a proposed initiative that could increase taxes on commercial and industrial properties by undoing some protections imposed by 1978's Proposition 13 submitted thousands of petition signatures Tuesday in hopes of getting the issue before voters in 2020.

Ryan Buck and Lluvia Flores-Renteria inspect th...

The Cholla Cactus Didn’t Bloom This Year — California Scientists Team Up To Find Out Why

Aug. 14, 2018
By Megan Burks

A project launching at San Diego State and 18 other locations in California this fall seeks to find out how climate change is affecting the state’s plants.

Greenfield Middle School is shown, Aug. 9, 2018.

El Cajon Principal Under Fire For Alleged Muslim Bullying Incident Takes New Job

Aug. 9, 2018
By Megan Burks

A principal who came under fire after students allegedly assaulted a Muslim classmate is moving to a different school.

San Diego State University president Adela de l...

New President Takes The Helm Alongside Fresh Crop Of Leaders At San Diego State

Aug. 9, 2018
By Megan Burks

Adela De la Torre joins the institution at what could be a major turning point. In November, voters will decide the fate of a proposed expansion of the university. Meanwhile, new leaders across the campus signal a clean slate.

The Geisel Library is seen from the UC San Dieg...

New School Year Comes With Stiffer Penalties For Foreign Scholars Who Overstay Visas

Aug. 8, 2018
By Megan Burks

The 2017 executive order that led to expanded immigration enforcement also called for immigration officials to clamp down on international scholars who overstay their visas. Those policies go into effect Thursday and could impact thousands of international students and faculty at San Diego universities.

The San Diego Unified School District Board of ...

Group Says It Will Sue Over San Diego Unified Board Elections

Aug. 6, 2018
By Megan Burks

An advocacy group says it’s suing the city under the California Voting Rights Act.

Carolina Martinez and Angela Mendez work in a m...

UC San Diego Science Program Unites Students From Both Sides Of Border

Aug. 2, 2018
By Megan Burks

A San Diego program to improve cross-border collaboration in the sciences has seen record enrollment this summer, despite political tension at the border.

A 14-year-old Syrian refugee identified by the ...

Activists Claim Bullying Against Muslim Middle School Student In El Cajon

Aug. 1, 2018
By KPBS News, Megan Burks

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said the 14-year-old girl and her parents were attacked by eight to 10 students who had followed her home from Greenfield Middle School.

The San Diego Unified School District Board of ...

San Diego Unified Sees Grad Rate Dip After State Changes Methodology

July 26, 2018
By Megan Burks

California released its latest graduation numbers Thursday, and they look a bit different after a federal audit forced changes.

Professor Craig Callender leads students in UC ...

Fewer Students Are Choosing Humanities — What San Diego Colleges Are Doing About It

July 26, 2018
By Megan Burks

The humanities are dying, or so say a lot of headlines. What is true is the number of San Diego students majoring in humanities is dropping.

Comic-Con Museum staff ask Comic-Con attendees ...

Comic-Con Museum Makes Its Debut With Call For Ideas

July 20, 2018
By Megan Burks

San Diego’s Comic-Con Museum is making its debut at this year’s convention. It's signing up members and asking what people would like to see in the museum.

A Logan Elementary School student picks up an a...

Judge Considers Injunction Against Anti-Islamophobia Program In San Diego Schools

July 18, 2018
By Megan Burks

Schools already offer broad-based training to prevent bullying. Is it constitutional to offer additional training to protect a specific religious group?

A man holds a megaphone at an immigration prote...

San Diego Protest Of Trump's Immigration Policies Draws 800, Leads To 10 Arrests

July 2, 2018
By City News Service, Megan Burks, Tarryn Mento

Demonstrators protesting zero-tolerance immigration-enforcement policies draped a banner from the roof of the Westin hotel in downtown San Diego Monday as part of a "Free Our Future" event.

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