The law is based on recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics and many other health, education, and civic groups that have been calling for changes in school start times as early as 1993. Adolescents experience a later shift in sleep cycle during puberty, and research has consistently shown that later wake times for teens can improve academic functioning as well as boost health and reduce teen car crashes. SB328 was co-sponsored by Start School Later and the California State PTA, with strong support from the California Medical Association, the California Police Chiefs Association, the California Psychiatric Association, and myriad health, education, and safety organizations. In a unique move, over 120 research and health experts from around the nation signed a consensus letter supporting the bill.
“California has just made child protection and public health history with legislation to ensure healthy, safe, and equitable school hours,” said Terra Ziporyn Snider, PhD, Start School Later’s Executive Director and Co-Founder. “States across the nation should now feel empowered to follow California’s lead.”
School administrators and state lawmakers who wish to learn more about the science behind healthy school start times are encouraged to visit the website of Start School Later at www.startschoollater.net.