California State Legislature approves of permanent late start for students


Graphic by Suzie Sun

Jenny Li, Features Editor

While many sleep deprived students long to sleep in on school days, this past month, California lawmakers voted to ban middle schools and high schools from starting before 8:30 a.m. The bill, SB328, narrowly passed through legislature chambers. Many would say this is a necessary and beneficial step for students to better their educational learning as sleep is vital to this process.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 80 percent of California middle schools and high schools started earlier than 8:30 a.m.

American politician Assemblyman Jay Obernolte argues that later school times could improve student health, boost graduation rates, and save the school system billions of dollars.

“This is the single most cost-effective thing we can do to improve high school graduation rates,” Obernolte said.

Fremd math teacher and morning bird Daniel Hays opposes California’s ban on starting school early, revealing his own preferences for school starting times.

“Although I don’t feel completely well educated about the issues of starting school early, I personally am a morning person,” Hays said. “So I think it is better to get things done early and end school earlier.”  

Research conducted by experts indicate that inadequate sleep for kids can lead to obesity, behavioral and developmental problems, and possibly depression. According to CNBC News, California legislators believe that a combination of late bedtimes and early school hours is putting students at a disadvantage.

Sophomore Jieun Kim believes later school days would be an important step to better physical health and personal well being.

“Many times I feel stressed from the homework load I have the night before and all the extracurricular clubs after school,” Kim said. “It would be beneficial to busy students like me to get this extra hour in the morning.

Due to an increased emphasis on extracurricular activities and AP classes, students today are staying up later with studies suggesting that as few as 20 percent of adolescents get enough sleep on school nights.

However, Senior Shreyah Prasad is partial upon the subject of schools starting later than 8:30, weighing the pros and cons of the situation.

“While starting school later is good for a students health, later times would then cause after school activities to drag later than usual,” Prasad said. “Thus, it would lead students to resorting to do their homework later, causing them to sleep even later.”