Establishing safe, healthy, and developmentally appropriate school hours is a bipartisan effort. The bills listed here are live or likely to be re-introduced. If there's an active bill in your state, contact your elected representatives and ask them to support the legislation. If nothing is happening in your state, lobby your legislators and local officials.
Establishing a time before which schools should not begin mandated instruction is as fundamental as requiring schools to turn on the heat when the temperature falls below a certain level. Local districts would still set their own hours; they need only meet the minimum 'no earlier than' start time that’s proven to be essential to students’ well-being. It’s time for an evidence-based, sound policy discussion that prioritizes student health and achievement. Teaching adolescents at a time they cannot effectively learn is an ineffective use of public funds and undermines our children’s health and their chances for success today and in the future." - California State Sen. Anthony Portantino,
The dates in brackets indicate when an item was added or updated. Bills related to school starting hours have been introduced in at least 22 U.S. states and territories.
State Legislation (Pending)
ZZZ's to A's Act (HR8787), introduced by U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren directs the U.S. Secretary of Education to conduct a study to determine the relationship between school start times and adolescent health, well-being, and performance. (Introduced August 31, 2022)
Back to the Future
Bills are often introduced many times before they succeed. To learn about past legislative efforts — including versions of the "ZZZ's to A's Act," a bill first introduced by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.) in 1997 — visit our page about Past Legislation. Some of the ideas might work where you live, or inspire something even better.
Local Acts and Actions
Many municipalities and local governments have passed legislation and resolutions related to school day start times. Visit the page of your state or local Start School Later Chapter to learn more.
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