Out-Dated Income Restrictions Keep Needy Children Out Of Pre-K Program

“California created its own early childhood education program 50 years ago. The goal was to help working families in need. However, the director of San Diego Unified School District’s early childhood education program says the income requirements to qualify for the program are so stringent that many needy families are left out.”

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California Teachers Union, School Boards Oppose Dyslexia Testing Bill

A new bill would require all kindergarten to third-grade students be screened annually for learning disabilities, specifically for dyslexia.

Kelly Sandman-Hurley and Tracy Block-Zaretski, who run San Diego’s Dyslexia Training Institute, a private dyslexia advocacy and tutoring company, helped draft the legislation put forward by Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, in February.

So far three influential organizations have come out against the bill.

California School Board Association, Special Education Local Plan Area and the California Teachers Association all sent letters of opposition to the state Assembly Education Committee. All the opposition letters echoed similar reasons for their position against the bill, AB 1369.

READ FULL ARTICLE AT http://www.kpbs.org/news/2015/apr/20/dyslexia-testing-bill-opposed-teachers-union-and-s/ 

Coast Guard, Federal Operation Results In Massive Cocaine Seizure

Federal officials have seized more than 56,000 pounds of cocaine in only six months into the new year.

The U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and federal law enforcement agencies seized the cocaine in a record-breaking operation. The coalition seized 53,000 pounds of cocaine in 2014.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said big busts like these have a huge impact on the international war on drugs.

“The seizures of these kinds of record-breaking amounts of cocaine means there are tens of thousands of pounds that aren’t making their way to the street,” Duffy said. “There are literally billions of dollars that are not making their way into cartel coffers.”

For complete story go here http://www.kpbs.org/news/2015/apr/16/coast-guard-shows-28000-pounds-cocaine-record-brea/

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San Diego Unified, Union Declare Contract Negotiation Impasse

After 10 months of labor negotiations, San Diego Unified School District and its teachers union declared an impasse.

In a statement, Superintendent Cindy Martin said they have “reached tentative agreements on nearly all issues including adding more counselors, nurses and special education support; increasing time for teacher preparation; maintaining benefits; and supporting consistent Visiting Teacher coverage. There are still a few areas where we have been unable to reach agreement.”

Lower class size and pay are the two sticking points — two of the most expensive issues.

The district can’t afford to pay teachers what they are asking for, Martin said.

“It does come down to money when you’re at the very end of the negotiations,” Martin said. ”We have mutually declared an impasse, which is simply another step in the bargaining process.“

For compete story go here.

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Balboa Park To Host Art, Science Festival

A celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, or STEAM., is on tap this Sunday in Balboa Park.

Organizers expect more than 10,000 people at Balboa Park’s seventh annual STEAM Day.

Free STEAM-themed crafts will line the park’s Prado. And the museums will admit kids under 12 for no charge if they are with a paid adult.

Ashanti Davis from the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center said people forget that science can be stranger than art.

“These things are weird, there are parts of them that are involved in everything that we do and there are parts that are very strange and bizarre,” Davis said. “And we want to know more because we want to know where its going and where its going to take us next.”

Angela Bacon from the San Diego Model Railroad Museum said they hope the event brings joy to science education.

“Because a lot of time when kids think about science and math all they think about is statistics and numbers and it might drag them down a little,” Bacon said. “And this is a fun way to engage people and to learn that science and math can be fun.“

To see the complete list of all that’s going on for everyone at STEAM Day, go to balboapark.org/STEAMday.

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Secret Garden Adds Fresh Greens To SDSU’s Art Department

To see the story on KPBS.com go here.

Hidden away at San Diego State University, in the shadow of Hardy Tower, is the art department.

About nine months ago SDSU staff member Jim Cavolt had an idea.

“My thought was that we had these pre-built planters, that had these really ugly hedges in them,” Cavolt said. “And they weren’t doing anybody any good. So I thought it would be a great idea if we could make a garden out of it.”

So he began the process of getting permission from the university to turn the planters into a vegetable garden.

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San Diego Youth Symphony, Qualcomm Honored For STEAM Education

Go here to see story as aired on KPBS and as run on KPBS.org.

The hot new movement in education is combining science, technology, engineering, art and math — also known as STEAM education.

Two San Diego organizations — San Diego Youth Symphony and Qualcomm’s Thinkabit Lab — were honored Wednesday for their work on STEAM programs in San Diego schools.