Senator Introduces Bill for Later School Day Start Time
State Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, this week introduced Senate Bill 328 which would require school districts to start their middle and high school days no earlier than 8:30 am.
The Senator cites a recent statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics advising schools to start school by 8:30 am or later, as reason for the bill.
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.
“Well data is clear,” said Sen. Portantino. “Starting the school day later improves the quality of education, health and welfare of our children. So let’s do it.”
More than 3 million public middle and high school students are enrolled in California. The average school day start time for these students is 8:07 am according to the Center for Disease and Control.
Districts receive funding based on attendance and Sen. Portantino believes that attendance will be improved with a later start time for the school day. Los Angeles Unified School District, the state’s largest district, could gain an additional $40 million annually if the attendance rate increased by 1 percent.