Fo­cus on when school day starts, not school year

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Chris Ver­nick, El­li­cott City

Gov. Larry Ho­gan’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der to start the school year af­ter La­bor Day is not nec­es­sar­ily the end of the world as some have sug­gested. While I find it in­trigu­ing that a Repub­li­can gover­nor seems fine in­ter­ven­ing in what should be a lo­cal de­ci­sion, I do think we are miss­ing out on a more im­por­tant con­ver­sa­tion that should fo­cus on not when the school year starts but when the school day starts (“Spring break could be cut,” Sept. 2).

There are way too many coun­ties (in­clud­ing Howard County where I live) where high school­ers have to ar­rive at school by 7 a.m. or even 6:45 a.m. Such early starts cou­pled with a teen’s phys­i­o­log­i­cal need for a min­i­mum of nine hours of sleep pro­mote a litany of health and learn­ing prob­lems. Both the Cen­ters for Disease Con­trol and Preven­tion and the Amer­i­can Academy of Pe­di­atrics rec­om­mend start­ing school times no ear­lier than 8 a.m. A host of lo­cal ju­ris­dic­tions have re­cently moved to later start times.

We should be fo­cused on our chil­dren’s well-be­ing, and start­ing school be­fore 8 a.m. to save money on bus­ing is like step­ping over a dol­lar to save a dime. Just ask your­self this: Do you feel like ac­tively learn­ing at 7 a.m.?

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