October 14, 2019
I am in my second year of college and it is going well for the most point.But I did not think I was going too. I thought it was just going to be massive amounts of work that did not make any sense and fail in the first three weeks. Turns out college (for some magical reason) has been vastly better than highschool. I love making my own schedule, having my first class start at 12:30, and only having classes two days a week. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy my highschool life. I grew closer to the person I wanted to be, I met so many great people, and at the same time became more educated. Out of all the things that made high school a pain, there was one elephant in the room. I dreaded waking up at 6am and having to be ready to learn at the best of my ability at 7:45AM. There were talks about pushing back school start times, we even had a district wide survey, but the policy was never formed. California will now be the first state in the country to implement such policy.
Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, signed the law into reality sunday 10/13.
The question to push back school start times has been in the air for years. Debates went back and forth on if pushing back school start times would bring higher academics, attendance, and health levels to students. The American academy of pediatrics backed the proposal, which lead to it being passed, because there were strong links to sleep and better health and academic performance. The American academy of pediatrics said that it
“recognizes insufficient sleep in adolescents as a public health issue, endorses the scientific rationale for later school start times, and acknowledges the potential benefits to students with regard to physical and mental health, safety and academic achievement.”
The CDC shows that the average start time for middle and highschool students in California (around 3 million) is 8:07 am. Also some students even had to be in the classroom at 7:30 am. The law is giving California schools 3 years to implement the new times of no earlier than 8am for middle school students and no earlier than 8:30 am.
The bill looks great on paper but there are always drawbacks. Pushing school start times back will have after school activities start later as well. This may leave after school programs such as clubs, events, and sports in a position to shorten. Some sport practices run for two hours and with this new law can have students being at school too late.
Will Other states take action on this issue? Pushing back school start times by 30 minutes would not change much and would benefit students and staff. But don’t take my word for it… My name is Logan Perkins, and this is The Perks of News.