Will Lubbock Join the Trend of Later School Start Times?
With the first day of school rapidly approaching, some people and schools are talking about pushing back the start time.
It all started in California. They just passed a law to push back the time students have to show up to school. Beginning fall 2022, high schools in California legally can't start classes before 8:30 a.m. Then, for middle schools in the state, they can't start before 8 a.m.
California is the first to make this an official law, but other states are looking to follow suit. Massachusetts and New Jersey are also looking at similar proposals for their public schools. Most schools in North Dakota (78 percent) and Alaska (76 percent) started after 8:30 a.m., but it's not a state law like it is now in California.
According to some studies, this will help students do better in school and make them more alert. They even think it helps with a decrease in teen suicide, car accidents and better physical and mental health. There are definitely people who aren't fond of the idea, too. Single parents and couples who both work need to get their kids to school as early as possible.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote in June that "not getting enough sleep is common among high school students and is associated with several health risks including being overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, and using drugs, as well as poor academic performance. One of the reasons adolescents do not get enough sleep is early school start times."
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended middle and high schools start at 8:30 a.m. or later to give students the opportunity to get the amount of sleep they need. The article also says that "according to the 2014 School Health Policies and Practices Study, 93 percent of high schools and 83% of middle schools in the U.S. started before 8:30 a.m."
Start School Later Texas helped the introduction of House Bill #1602 during the 86th Texas legislative session. The bill required all school districts in the state to begin instruction at 8 a.m. or later, but was not voted out of committee.
So what does that mean for Texas? It looks like it's not happening here, but could be a new trend here in the United States. I guess some states might be waiting to see how it turns out for others, and we could see even more states adopt the idea in 2023.