California Later Starting School Times

Katherine Portillo, Photographer

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Governor Gavin Newson has signed off on the bill to push back the start time of schools, on Sunday October 13th, 2019. California is the first state in the U.S. to pass a law like this. This law will be put into action by 2023.

 

The controversy on this topic began in 2016 when Seattle, Washington’s public school system hosted the experiment of whether or not the grades of students would improve. The analysis, showed significant improvement in the children’s grades. https://www.washington.edu/news/2018/12/12/high-school-start-times-study/

 

Teachers are sharing their feelings on this topic. Many feel as though this law will create more challenges for the kids. The Montgomery County District of Texas did a survey asking the teacher how she would feel about changing the times, 63 percent were not in favor of this stating it would be “a distraction from learning.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/teachers-overwhelmingly-oppose-later-high-school-start-times-in-montgomery/2015/02/06/c53daf22-ae19-11e4-abe8-e1ef60ca26de_story.html

 

Downey High School teacher, Mrs. Rios shares her thoughts on this new law. “I love this idea of helping kids with their sleep habits but I am not too sure if this will help, much,” Rios went on to say. “It is not a drastic change, it will only be about a 40 minute difference.”

 

Scientists have recommended that teens in high school get 10 hours of sleep a night in order to retain 100% of the information given to them in a school day. A study was made where students with more than 8 hours of sleep are less likely to be subject to signs of depression, drink caffeinated beverages, and fall asleep in class. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/backgrounder-later-school-start-times

 

Student, Jackelyn Barragan, 11, shared her thoughts on this newly passed law. “This will benefit everyone involved,” Barragan stated. “I wish it would start next year, because I’ll be gone when it starts.”

 

This law may, unfortunately, affect the extracurricular activities the student is participating in at school. These activities will end later in the day, making it harder for students to have enough time to study and do homework. One other problem being that parent work schedule will not be altered, so in most cases guardians will end up dropping their kids off at the same time they usually would.

 

Sharing her personal thoughts about the negative aspects of this topic, Amanda Perez, 10, stated, “I don’t like the idea of this new law, it won’t be good, especially if you are in sports.’’ Perez continued, “These athletes will end up getting out later because the number of hours for practice will stay the same.”

 

California is the only state to have passed this law as of right now. Perhaps when scientists get new results about schools in California, more states may end up passing this law as well. As of right now, the students and staff members of Downey High School have mixed reactions.