Pasadena Now: Sen. Anthony Portantino Introduces Bill to Start the School Day Later
Today, Senator Anthony Portantino introduced SB 328 which will require California school districts to start their middle and high school days no earlier than 8:30 am.
“Every year we discuss as parents, educators, and legislators, best practices and interests of the children and education? Well data is clear; starting the school day later improves the quality of education, health and welfare of our children. So let’s do it” said Sen. Portantino.
In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement advising school districts to change the school day start time to no earlier than 8:30 am, specifically for middle schools and high schools. Studies have confirmed that insufficient sleep in teenage adolescents poses a public health risk and has an adverse effect on academic success.
According to the APA, reports on school districts who have adopted this policy have found increased attendance rates, grade point averages, state assessment scores, college admission test scores, student attention, and student and family interaction. Additionally, studies also found decreases in student involved car accidents, disciplinary actions, and decrease in student sleeping during lectures.
Currently, California has over 3 million public middle and high school students. The average school day start time for these students is 8:07 am according to the Center for Disease and Control. California school districts would benefit with later school day start times as funding is tied to attendance. The Los Angeles Unified School District estimated by improving the current attendance rate by just 1%, the district would gain an additional $40 million per year which could be re-invested in California student’s educational growth.