Schools Will Be Starting Later


October 13, 2019 at California’s Capital, Governor Gavin Newsome signed a bill for classes to start at 8 am. The bill was approved with 870 votes for the measure and 172 against according to Paul Kitagaki, The Sacramento Bee, October 14, 2019.

California is the first state in the nation to mandate this late start time according to Amy Powell of ABC The new law prohibits Junior High Schools from starting earlier than 8 am while high schools are to begin no earlier than 8:30 am to give districts more flexibility in scheduling buses by Edsource The governor referenced medical studies that prove schools should have a later start time to benefit the students’ performances.

The National Foundation of Sleep reported on the consequences of sleep deprivation. A study by Dr. Mary Carskadan concluded that a time change in school could help reduce sleep deprivation and thus improve the academic performance of students. The study shows that teens require eight to ten hours of sleep for good mental and physical health.

The California Teachers Association released a statement on October 14 about the downside of this bill “…the Geo diversity of our state does not lend itself to a one-size fits all approach. It could have a disproportionately negative impact on working families.” While this bill may benefit students’ health, it does not mean that families will be able to adjust to the new starting times.

Al Mijares, the superintendent of schools in Orange County, pointed out: “While it may be easy enough for some families with flexible schedules to adjust, in some communities, parents who are working just to make ends meet don’t have the luxury of delaying the start of their workday.”

There is a lot to reconsider stated Hannah Wily of the Sacramento Bee on October 13, 2019. This bill not only requires families to reschedule their days, but schools must also reschedule both academic and extracurricular activities. They must also resolve other considerations including how to allocate the money that goes into school transportation, getting new bus drivers and changes in staff requirements for before and after school supervision.

This bill will go into effect on July 1, 2022 allowing districts to have three years to adjust their schedules.