Should School Days Start Later?

Recently, a bill has been reintroduced that intends to make the start times of middle schools and high schools no earlier than 8:30am. The bill will affect all middle schools and high schools in California, including charter schools. Introduced by Senator Portantino, the bill was vetoed by former Governor Jerry Brown. Brown stated that he believes the start time for school days should be decided at a local level.  

But, as the bill is being reintroduced to current Governor Gavin Newsom, there’s a chance for the bill to be passed into law.  

There are scientific studies from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that support the idea of school days starting later. According to a study from the CDC, teenage students who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to perform poorly in school, consume drugs, and suffer from depressive symptoms. Also, two out of three high school students don’t get enough sleep.  

A study from the AAP also shows that sleep deprivation leads to academic underperformance and mental health issues. The study also says that a lack of sleep can lead to automobile accidents. According to the AAP, the natural teenage sleep cycle makes it difficult for high schoolers to fall asleep before 11:00 pm, yet many high schools start at 7:30 am.

Whether or not you agree with this bill, it’s important to have your voice heard. If you would like a politician to know what you think of the bill, then contact Governor Newsom [(916) 445-2841], Senator Steve Glazer [(916) 651-4007], or assembly member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan [(925) 328-1515].

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