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Stories by Megan Burks

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

Sept. 18
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.

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

Sept. 11
By Megan Burks

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

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

Sept. 10
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.

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

Sept. 7
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.

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

Sept. 3
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.

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

Aug. 28
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.

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

Aug. 20
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.

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Coalition Submits Signatures To Amend Proposition 13 In 2020 Election

Aug. 14
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.

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

Aug. 14
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.

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

Aug. 9
By Megan Burks

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

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

Aug. 9
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.

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

Aug. 8
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.

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Group Says It Will Sue Over San Diego Unified Board Elections

Aug. 6
By Megan Burks

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

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

Aug. 2
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.

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Activists Claim Bullying Against Muslim Middle School Student In El Cajon

Aug. 1
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.

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San Diego Unified Sees Grad Rate Dip After State Changes Methodology

July 26
By Megan Burks

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

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

July 26
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.

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Comic-Con Museum Makes Its Debut With Call For Ideas

July 20
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.

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

July 18
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?

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

July 2
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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San Diego Program Delivers Life Skills To Young Adults With Special Needs

July 2
By Megan Burks

Getting ready for the adult world can be difficult for any young person, especially for students with special needs. The San Diego Center for Children has found a unique way to ease that transition.

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San Diego Unified Pursuing $3.5 Billion Bond Measure For November

June 26
By Megan Burks

The measure would come as the district continues to spend down two previous bonds totaling $4.9 billion.

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Students Helping To Clear City Backlogs Under San Marcos Partnership

June 25
By Megan Burks

Cal State San Marcos students are helping the city of San Marcos knock out a backlog of projects while getting their hands dirty with real-world problems.

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California Lawmakers Approve $21M In Immigration Legal Aid For Students

June 22
By Megan Burks

Community colleges and state universities offer legal assistance to all students, including those in the country illegally. Last year they opened 30 percent more immigration cases.

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His Parents Were Deported Two Weeks Before College, Now He’s A UC San Diego Graduate

June 18
By Megan Burks

Leon Sanchez Reyes is one of an untold number of students who straddle the U.S.-Mexico border — caught between two worlds amid stepped-up immigration enforcement under President Donald Trump and, before him, President Barack Obama.

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District, Union-Backed Proposal On School Board Elections Inching Toward The Ballot

June 14
By Megan Burks

The city attorney’s office is now reviewing a ballot proposal that would establish three four-year term limits for San Diego Unified trustees. The review is one of the final steps before voters would be asked to weigh in this November.

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Goodbye Buses, Hello Virtual Field Trips: Tech Takes El Cajon Students Beyond The Classroom

June 14
By Megan Burks

The big, yellow bus is often a prime target for school budget cuts, which means students are going on fewer field trips. The Cajon Valley Union School District may have found a solution.

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San Diego City Colleges To Offer Two Years Free Tuition

June 11
By Megan Burks

With the state now picking up the tab for the first year, the San Diego Community College District has announced it's able to cover students’ second year.

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Incumbents Muñoz, Shea Keep Seats For County Board Of Education Districts 3 And 5

June 5
By Megan Burks

San Diego County Board of Education District 3 incumbent Alicia Muñoz and District 5 incumbent Rick Shea held their leads.

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Incumbents, Write-In Candidates Advance To November San Diego Unified Board Races B, C

June 5
By Megan Burks

With all precincts reporting, incumbent Kevin Beiser has 91.6 percent of the vote, while write-in candidates have 8.4 percent of the vote. Incumbent Michael McQuary has 90.7 percent of votes, while write-in candidates have 9.3 percent.

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Nonprofit Makes Final Push To Boost Voter Turnout In City Heights

June 5
By Megan Burks

Since April, volunteers and community organizers have contacted thousands of City Heights residents in an effort to increase voter turnout there.

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Forty Years Later, Proposition 13 Is Proof Your Vote Matters

June 5
By Megan Burks

Passed 40 years ago Wednesday, Proposition 13 has had deep and lasting impacts on the state of California.

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Sweetwater Embraces Move From Textbook Civics To Civic Engagement

June 4
By Megan Burks

California schools are adopting a civics education model that reaches beyond the branches of government to tackle real-life problems and build a more civil future.

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Two Proposals For SD Unified Term Limits Vie For Spot On November Ballot

May 30
By Megan Burks

The San Diego Unified School Board wants three four-year terms. An outside group wants just two terms.

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Registrar Certifies Write-In Candidates For San Diego Unified Board Races

May 30
By Megan Burks

It’s official. There are now challengers in the races for two seats on the San Diego Unified School Board.

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Fallbrook High Loses Millions Of Dollars As Districts Jockey For Students

May 25
By Megan Burks

Faced with declining birth rates and competition from charter schools, some districts are turning to magnet schools to attract new students. What happens to the districts losing students?

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National City Teachers Vote In Favor Of Strike

May 22
By Megan Burks

National City could become the next battleground in a nationwide wave of teacher strikes.

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Uncontested San Diego Unified Elections May Be Contested After All

May 22
By Megan Burks

Two San Diegans say they’ve gathered enough signatures to qualify as write-in candidates for San Diego Unified School Board.

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First Students To Earn Bachelor’s Degrees At Mesa College Graduate This Weekend

May 18
By Megan Burks

The graduates are some of the first in the state to earn four-year degrees through a community college.

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Committee Recommends Ballot Measure To Lower The Voting Age In San Diego Unified Races

May 17
By Megan Burks

A majority of San Diegans surveyed said they don’t want to let teenagers vote for school board trustees. But a committee is recommending the San Diego Unified School Board propose a ballot measure to lower the voting age anyway.

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Survey: Majority Favors Term Limits, Local-Only Elections For San Diego Unified Trustees

May 15
By Megan Burks

Based on feedback from an online survey and series of town hall meetings, an advisory committee says the San Diego Unified Board should let voters decide on election reforms.

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Six Community College District Seats Are Up For Election — Why It Matters

May 15
By Megan Burks

Six community college trustee seats are up for grabs across San Diego County this election. What do the trustees do and why should you care?

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Charter Or Labor Majority At Stake In San Diego County School Board Races

May 11
By Megan Burks

The last time County Board of Education seats were up for election, charter school advocates narrowly missed gaining a majority. Now they have a second chance.

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San Diego Unified Superintendent Seeks Charter Changes Following Critical Report

May 9
By City News Service, Megan Burks

Citing a report that contends the district loses $65.9 million a year in state funding due to students attending area charter schools, San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten called Tuesday for greater local control in the review of charter applications.

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Group Is Challenging San Diego Unified's Elections Instead Of Its Incumbents

May 7
By Megan Burks

Incumbent school board trustees Kevin Beiser and Michael McQuary will more or less cruise into their third and second terms. But some community members are hoping to install a few speed bumps on the road to re-election in San Diego Unified.

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Thousands Of San Diego County Youth Registered To Vote In March

April 30
By Megan Burks

Voter registration has been a major push of the school walkouts and marches following the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

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School Board Election Town Halls Wrap Saturday

April 27
By Megan Burks

The meetings were a chance for people to weigh in on whether San Diego Unified School Board trustees should have term limits and be elected in smaller, local runoffs, among other things.

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Former Donovan Inmate Takes His College Degree Beyond The Barbed Wire

April 27
By Megan Burks

A Southwestern College program aims to help inmates stay out of prison once they're released by offering them associate's degrees. Now a former student inmate is putting it to the test.

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Donovan Inmates Work Toward College Degree Through Obama-Era Program

April 26
By Megan Burks

Prisoners have long taken correspondence courses to earn college credits behind bars. But inmates at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in Otay Mesa are participating in a rare face-to-face program.

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Another Twist In Parent's Quest To Bring Transitional Kindergarten To Del Mar

April 23
By Megan Burks

Del Mar Union is one in a small number of districts that don’t offer transitional kindergarten, even though the California Department of Education says they should under its interpretation of state law.

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