By HELEN POGGI
Governor Jerry Brown vetoed Senate Bill 328 on Sept. 20, 2018, under which California school start times would have been pushed back to 8:30 a.m. or later. The bill applied to middle and high schools, both public and charter.
Those who opposed the bill, including Brown, noted that a “one-size-fits-all approach” was not a good solution. Others pointed out that the change could cost schools great amounts of money to alter bus schedules. After-school activities such as sports would be pushed back as well. It could also pose problems for parents: later school start times could conflict with work start times, and, if parents have children at both the middle and high school level, non-staggered times could complicate dropping off their kids.
On the other hand, the bill’s supporters cited the years of scientific studies showing that teenagers tend to fall asleep and wake up later than other age groups. Subsequently, earlier school times result in widespread sleep deprivation. This is detrimental to students’ grades, test scores, brain development, and overall physical and mental health.
Despite these concerns, Brown vetoed the bill after it passed the legislature. However, the events still reflect the growing support behind later start times. Bills like this have been introduced before, and states other than California have instituted similar policies. Therefore, in the coming years, such rules may still be imposed on Californian schools.
Students at REV had their own opinions on the bill and its implications. Freshman Connor Lehigh said of the bill, “Good thing he vetoed it.” Lehigh was concerned about the later release time that would come with the later start time.
Senior Maha Quadri also opposed the bill: “While it sounds like a good idea, the amount of extracurricular activities people do on campus makes it illogical.”