California’s new school start time to be 8:30 am

Jessica Saralegui, Freshman

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Recently, a law in California was passed that makes it mandatory for high schools and middle schools in California to have their students enter later. 

On October 13, 2019, governor Gavin Newsom signed a law which prevents middle schools and high schools in California from starting school any earlier than 8:30 a.m. However, the law will not apply to zero periods because those classes are optional. 

State Senator Anthony Portantino believes that having later start times will improve student’s health and the way they work at school. “Shifting to a later start time will improve academic performance.” Portantino states.

Research has been conducted showing that later school start times can benefit students in multiple ways. If schools change their schedule to commence no earlier than 8:30 a.m, students will get an opportunity to sleep in and be ready for the school day.

California will be the first state in the nation to adopt this new school start time. Public schools in California are required to have the new law take effect by the 2022-2023 school year.

Freshman Leanne Manansala thinks starting at 8:30 is a good idea. “I would rather start at 8:30 instead of our original start time because it will allow me to sleep in more and feel more awake and ready for 1st period.”

Although some people are all for this new law, others believe that it will cause some problems. Deborah Temkin, the senior director of the education program at Childs Trends addresses that if school districts don’t get the amount of time they need to make the change, there can be negative consequences, but those actual consequences are yet to be determined. 

Depending on how this new law works out for California, it is most likely that other states may make the decision to join in on the new start time.

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