California Bill Allows Schools To Start Later: How Much Will it Really Help?

Do You Think School Should Start Later?

  • Yes! (78%, 18 Votes)
  • No! (22%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 23

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Kids and teens alike are rejoicing over the upcoming California law that allows for schools to start later. This bill, that has been long-awaited by many, is planning to take effect in the course of the 2021-2022 school year. According to the Los Angeles Times, “The law will take effect over a phased-in period, ultimately requiring public middle schools to begin classes at 8 a.m. or later while high schools will start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.” Although there is a lot of research in favor of school starting at a later time, there may be some problems that could arise from the passing of this legislation.

Many may argue that there aren’t any downsides to this bill, and that we should just enjoy it, since students are getting the advantage of increased sleep. Despite this being a reasonable point, there are facts showing that this legislation might not be everything we all hoped for.

The issue with this bill is that it has the potential to disregard various common issues, such as families having to get to work on time, and activities/athletics taking place after school. Many parents or guardians that have to get to work at a certain time, must leave at a predetermined time to get to work. This means that many parents would have to drop their kids off at school around the same time as before the bill was passed. “…Because of their work schedules, not all parents would be able to take their kids to school at a later time. Students would be dropped at school early, losing out on the extra sleep they might have gotten…” states the Los Angeles Times editorial board.

Crimson Times

Another possible downfall to this legislation being passed is the fact that school athletics and after school programs might get in the way of academic studies more than before. With the factor that school is being pushed back to a later time, this then results in all after-school activities being pushed back as well. Since most athletes and students that have after-school programs might not be getting enough time to work on academics as it is, school ending later will result in even more of a disadvantage. We need to take into account these after-school activities to decide what the best option is.

A reasonable solution to the problems that have arisen from the passing of this bill, is allowing for individual communities to determine what the best solution might be for the people in that specific area. “Teachers unions and school districts generally argued that decisions about the appropriate time to begin classes should be determined at the local level, allowing districts and schools to determine schedules that best meet the needs of their communities.” says Tauryn Luna. Having these decisions on a more local level will allow for more agreement which will satisfy more people.