California is the first state in the United States of America to push back school start times so middle and high-school students can get more sleep.
Governor Gavin Newsom just signed the bill into law on October 13, 2019, which will prevent high school classes from starting before 8:30 am.
The new law is going to prevent middle school classes to start before 8 am.
By 2022, all schools in California are required to comply with the new law.
This means all schools are going to have new start times by 2022.
In a report that was published by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) found out that students who sleep at least 8 hours a day had better attendance, improved grades, and had lower chances of developing depression.
The report also states that students who have better sleep are less tardy, do not fall asleep in class, and they actually stay away from drugs.
According to the report, 60 percent of the students in middle school do not get enough sleep every night.
70 percent of the high school students do not get enough sleep every night.
Getting less than 8 hours of sleep affects the performance of students in school. This can develop mental and physical issues, which include anxiety, depression, and illegal substance abuse.
The California State Parent Teacher Association, Celia Jaffe, said, “We think of it as almost a joke, that teenagers are always crabby in the morning and they stay up way too late.”
She added, “[Later school start times are] better for their mental health, it reduces depression and other mental health problems.”
Before the bill was passed, 80 percent of public middle and high-schools in Golden State started before 8:30 am, the average starting time in Golden State was 8:07 am.
State Senator Anthony Portantino said, “Shifting to a later start time will improve academic performance and save lives because it helps our children be healthier.”