Beyond Students, Late School Start Times Could Impact Parents and Transportation Budgets

California will become the first state in the nation to mandate later start times at most middle schools and high schools under legislation signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on October 13, a proposal designed to improve educational outcomes by giving students more sleep.

“The science shows that teenage students who start their day later increase their academic performance, attendance, and overall health,” Newsom said in a statement. “Importantly, the law allows three years for schools and school districts to plan and implement these changes.”

The law will take effect over a phased-in period, ultimately requiring public middle schools to begin classes at 8 AM or later while high schools will start no earlier than 8:30 AM. The law does not apply to optional early classes, known as “zero periods.” 

While I don’t question the scientific evidence supporting later start times, I am concerned with the burden this places on parents and schools. Those who work the early morning shift would especially be hard hit in terms of scheduling drop offs. I wonder what later school end times would mean for sports and after-school activities. Groups would have to meet later causing them to go home even later. Students and parents who rely on public transportation may have to opt out of morning activities that could help bolster their academic or work performance (seminars, additional training, etc).

School districts would have to spend additional money on transportation because many districts stagger their transportation. In order to use the same buses for all of their students, pushing back middle and high-school start times could mean paying for more buses and overtime since now they would be working longer hours to ensure students get there on time and then picked up later on. 

“Everyone is going to be watching to see what the results are going to be,” said Deborah Temkin, senior director of the education program at Child Trends, a Washington-based research organization. “California, as one of the largest states in the country, can really define policy movements across the country. If this turns out to be successful, with relatively few consequences, then I think it’s something that other states will likely consider.”

I truly hope the advantages outweigh the cons of this new policy. New ideas can be scary especially when it involves one of the largest school districts in the country. Even well-meaning ideas like this can have disastrous consequences for some of the people it is meant to help.

What do you think?
The following two tabs change content below.
Sanjay Sabarwal

Sanjay Sabarwal

Coming from a long history of participating in community service, Sanjay got involved in the legal field to continue his service to others. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in English and Political Science, Sanjay took a year off to do Americorps, where he taught English in Lexington, Kentucky at an underserved school. Sanjay has continued to display his passion for improving the lives of others throughout his professional career. He currently volunteers to speak at schools through the Youth Business Alliance Program and participates in giving out food to the homeless in Stanton, California with the Illumination Foundation. Sanjay truly believe that clients deserve to feel heard and taken care of and maintains this value throughout his work as an attorney. Sanjay Sabarwal focuses his practice in the areas of Employment Law, Family Law and Personal Injury Law. In addition to his current practice focus, Mr. Sabarwal has experience in Business Law, Wage Compensation, Partnership Disputes and Mediation. Mr. Sabarwal has been the Co-Owner and House Counsel for Ziba Beauty for the past 15 years, where he is familiar with all business and legal aspects of running a chain of 14 Store Locations. Mr. Sabarwal is a member of the American Bar Association, Los Angeles Bar Association, South Asian Bar Association and Orange County Bar Association. He also serves on the Advisory Board for Youth Business Alliance, which connects entrepreneurs to speak at underserved schools in Los Angeles County. He is also a board member for the Artesia Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Sabarwal is admitted to practice at all California State Courts.

One thought on “Beyond Students, Late School Start Times Could Impact Parents and Transportation Budgets

  1. Avatar

    Carson Zan Hughes

    Carson Zan goes into the deepest well of his imagination in this spellbinding book, The Hero of Stramica. This story revolves around several characters that are trying to survive and make peace. It is a blend of conflict between the nations of Yaldrea and Luclaria that creates engaging action sequences and thrill. The scenes of the story are well-versed and connect with each other. Once you read the first few pages of this book, it is hard to keep it down.

More Comments