Growing alarm at the teen mental health crisis along with post-pandemic learning loss is spurring more and more leaders into action
(Severna Park, MD) Decades of research show that when school days start later for middle and high schoolers, students get more sleep, feel better, and perform better – in class, with friends and family, and behind the wheel.
Here are five recent developments in the U.S. movement to start school later.
Nine States Consider School Start Time Legislation in 2023
The movement toward safer, healthier school hours spearheaded by Start School Later Inc. continues to gain traction around the country
This month, Florida joined California in passing a law to start school later
(Severna Park, MD) This month, Florida became the second state in the nation to recognize the negative effects of too-early school start times on teens’ wellbeing. Joining California, Florida legislators overwhelmingly approved CS/HB 733. Now signed by the governor, the new law requires public middle schools and high schools to operate at healthy hours beginning in 2026.
Policymakers in eight other U.S. states are also considering legislation related to delaying secondary school class times, reflecting a growing recognition of the urgent need for school hours that support adolescent physical and mental health, safety, and school performance.
A consensus letter has been forwarded to Members of the California Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom, urging the passage of Senate Bill 328 (SB 328), a bill that would set healthier limits on how early in the day state middle and high schools can start classes.
Because of changes in the sleep cycle that occur during puberty, health experts recommend that middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. The bill, introduced by Senator Anthony Portantino, is co-sponsored by the nonprofit Start School Later and the California State PTA and has widespread support from a host of health, safety, and education groups including the American Academy of Pediatrics California, the California Medical Association, the California Police Chiefs Association, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the California Psychiatric Association, the National Sleep Foundation, and myriad hospitals and universities.
“Start School Later Sacramento” high school students to attend professional lobbying training in an effort to pass legislation regarding later school start times.
SACRAMENTO, CA – A group of eight high school freshmen who are charter members of the Sacramento chapter of Start School Later will be attending two days of professional lobbying training, hosted by Capitol Seminars at McGeorge School of Law and Policy on April 12 and 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.
Students will be available for questions/interviews at 2 p.m. on April 12, following their first day of lobbying training in Classroom B at the McGeorge School, 3200 Fifth Avenue in Sacramento.