South Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education members have voted to support a senate bill to require middle and high schools to not start earlier than 8:30 a.m.
“It’s known as the late start bill,” explained SPUSD Superintendent Geoff Yantz, talking about State Senator Anthony Portantino’s SB 328 that has been met with some resistance in the past.
Last year’s version of the bill was vetoed by then Governor Brown. Portantino says more research and studies have come to light touting the need to move the school start time to later in the day.
“Portantino has made some modifications to the bill,” explained Yantz. “It’s going now going through the system.”
Local board of education members have taken action to support a resolution, which would support Senate Bill 328. “That resolution will be sent to the senators office to let him know we support his efforts,” said Yantz.
“As I stated at the end of the last legislative year, I will continue to fight for to change school start time because it is a science based and results driven policy that will save lives and improve academic performance,” said Portantino. “The facts and results are unequivocal and clear, our teens are healthier and perform better when school starts later. I strongly believe test scores will go up and suicidal thoughts will go down. It’s time to embrace this public health issue and put our children’s wellbeing first.”
In studies, later start time, according to Portantino, has resulted in more on-time attendance, increased graduation rates and an improvement in grades.
“SB 328 has been about scientific research from its inception, the bill is a result of recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control,” he said. “Both organizations advise school districts to change the school day start time to no earlier than 8:30 am, specifically for middle schools and high schools. Studies have confirmed that insufficient sleep in teenage adolescents poses a public health risk.”