State Senate Bill 328, authored by Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge), has been passed by the State Assembly Education Committee, potentially opening the door for students to get a later start to their school day.
SB 328 addresses the significant public health crisis of sleep-deprived teens by requiring high schools in California to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. and middle schools to begin no earlier than 8 a.m. The California State PTA and Start School Later are sponsors of SB 328. The bill has garnered strong support from medical professionals, researchers, law enforcement and education advocates.
“Children across California deserve that we put a premium on their health and welfare,” said Senator Portantino, whose 25th Assembly District represents South Pasadena. “Study after study has proven that the more teens sleep the healthier they are and the better they perform. Schools across the country that responded to the research by moving to a later start time have seen their children thrive. It’s time for California to act so this generation and every generation has the opportunity to be healthy, happy and successful students.”
SB 328 principal co-authors include Assemblymember Ian Calderon (D-Long Beach) and Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) and co-authored by Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), and Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath (D- Oceanside).
“The research is clear. Later school start time improves the health, safety, and academic success of our teens. Thank you California Senate for supporting this science and voting for our kids,” stated Carol Kocivar California State PTA.
SB 328 is based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control to shift the start time of middle schools and high schools to a later start time. School districts that have followed the recommendation and moved their start time later have seen increases in attendance, academic performance and graduation rates and a decrease in car accidents, frequency of suicidal thoughts, depression, drug use and sports injuries.
“Student health took a giant leap forward today,” noted Joy Wake, Start School Later California. Parents and students across our state are one step closer to healthy families because of the committee’s action today. The strong coalition of students, researchers and educators who came out to support SB 328 made a compelling case. We are grateful to the committee members and Senator Portantino for putting our student’s health at the forefront of this public policy movement.”