Wake up and smell the school news! We blog more on the move to match San Diego Unified graduation requirements to the University of California system, bring you the early rumblings of the budget crisis schools face next year, and outline public health cuts from the state that could damage or eliminate a program for pregnant and parenting teens. (We also got a lot of reader feedback on the story yesterday about conference costs.)

The Union-Tribune reports that Sweetwater schools awarded a free car to a kid with perfect attendance — now he just has to go get his license. The North County Times reports that Oceanside schools will indeed rehire teachers who were slated for layoffs, but on temporary contracts. And on the lighter side, NBC highlights one of the many magnet programs in San Diego Unified, a Mandarin Chinese program that was earlier listed as one of the endangered small schools. You might overdose on the adorable.

Elsewhere in California, the Los Angeles Unified school board has voted to start pushing for changes to state laws to make it easier to fire teachers accused of serious crimes. The vote comes one month after the Los Angeles Times investigated the firing process and found it cumbersome and expensive. San Francisco schools are reinstating their Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program after years of debate. And the New York Times turns its eyes to a California issue: delays in programs meant to help teachers repay their loans.

And for your national news fix, Education Week reports that networks of charter schools are increasingly becoming unionized. Newsweek has released its annual list of top high schools, a ranking that is controversial among education wonks because it relies heavily on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams. Preuss (the charter school sponsored by UCSD) and one of the schools-within-a-school at San Diego High made the list. USA Today takes a nationwide look at schools with a longer year . And a new report from the New York-based Carnegie Corporation says that math and science education still need a major shot in the arm.

EMILY ALPERT

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