California bill gets passed for later start to school days


Photo by Lindsey Poorman

Students find no more excuses to sleep in first period as the start of the school day is pushed by 30 more minutes.

Story by Valeria Najera, News Editor

A teenager doesn’t start functioning efficiently until 9 a.m., ”

— Anahi Merino Vasquez (11)

   California Governor Gavin Newsom has passed a bill to mandate later start times for charter and public schools on Oct. 13, 2022. California Bill 328 will require California middle and high schools to start no earlier than 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. respectively. Research shows that more sleep results in better physical health in teens  and less anxiety and depression according to Child Mind Institute. The bill received bipartisan support this year. 

   “I think the law is good because sleep is important for teenagers’ mental health. Not enough enough sleep could lead to heightened stress, depression, struggles with learning and balancing school. It is the next step in doing more to help students,” Kaylee Swanson (12) said. 

   Currently, the Legislative Analyst’s Office reports that one-fifth of California schools have implemented the bill; the remaining schools have been given three years to implement the new regulations. Organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the California Teachers Association, and the California School Boards Association support the bill and its approval. Despite the widespread approval, some students are left wondering what the bill will mean practically.

   “I don’t agree with starting school later because it will mess up everybody’s schedule. If you are a student doing sports, your games will happen later in the day, and our school football games will be pushed later too. We will have less time to shower, eat, do homework, and relax,” Briana Enciso (11) said.

   Teens typically take longer to fall asleep and need more hours of sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation, but the bill will impact working families negatively. The parents of students who have working families might not have the option to start their workday later. And the bill doesn’t require schools to have before-school programs to accommodate these students.

   “Most students makes the claim that this state law is being implemented to give us more sleep, however I think its is more about starting at a time where our bodies can function properly. A teenager doesn’t start functioning efficiently until 9 a.m.,” Anahi Merino Vasquez (11) said. 

   The bill will also come with a financial cost. The funds would come from the Proposition 98 General Fund which gives a percent of the state budget to K-12 education. The money would go to districts that need to change their transportation routes, fund more bus drivers, and have staff stay extra hours before and after school.