Bill to change school start times goes to gov­er­nor

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - News - BY HAN­NAH WILEY hwi­[email protected] Capi­tol bureau re­porter Sophia Bollag con­trib­uted re­port­ing.

Don’t hit the snooze but­ton yet, kids.

A pro­posal to roll back school start times still needs Gov. Gavin New­som’s sig­na­ture to be­come law.

The Cal­i­for­nia Leg­is­la­ture ap­proved – while work­ing into the early hours of Saturday morn­ing – a mea­sure that would pro­hibit high schools and mid­dle schools from start­ing be­fore 8:30 and 8:00 a.m., re­spec­tively.

Assem­bly­man Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, de­scribed an “epi­demic” of sleep de­pri­va­tion among teenagers ex­ac­er­bated by early school start times. About 80 per­cent of the state’s sec­ondary schools start be­fore 8:30 a.m., he said.

“Early sec­ondary school start times harm chil­dren’s health and safety in many ways,” Gloria con­tin­ued. “When school starts later, teens get more sleep, they are health­ier, they are hap­pier.”

Sen­ate Bill 328 was crafted based on the Amer­i­can Academy of Pe­di­atrics’ rec­om­men­da­tions that de­lay­ing mid­dle and high school start times will im­prove stu­dent sleep sched­ules and de­crease health con­cerns like obe­sity and men­tal health ill­nesses.

“A substantia­l body of re­search has now demon­strated that de­lay­ing school start times is an ef­fec­tive coun­ter­mea­sure to chronic sleep loss and has a wide range of po­ten­tial ben­e­fits to stu­dents with re­gard to phys­i­cal and men­tal health, safety, and aca­demic achievemen­t,” the academy’s web­site de­tails.

Op­po­nents ques­tioned whether hav­ing a uni­form and later start time would best serve all of Cal­i­for­nia’s fam­i­lies and the com­mu­ni­ties they live in, which dif­fer in di­ver­sity, geography, and size.

New­som has un­til Oct. 13 to sign the bill, which would take ef­fect in 2022.

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