SAN JOSE (KPIX) – California teenagers may get to sleep a little later on school mornings thanks to a bill that would push back the start times at middle and high schools.
Not everyone is on board, though, like San Jose middle school parent Debbie Decker.
“The majority of people have to work,” she said.
Decker is among the majority of parents who take their kids to school, then rush to work.
“I have to figure out my time and I’m lucky that I have flextime and I’m able to come and go, but many people are not,” she said.
Now, many working parents may have to change their morning and afternoon routines if Governor Jerry Brown signs SB 328, known as the School Start Time Bill.
It would require all California middle and high schools to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.
On average, students start at 8:07 a.m.
“Right now one size fits all is not going to do it,” said Greg Bonaccorsi, board member of the California Teachers’ Association. “This would create havoc.”
The CTA is against the bill which aims to give kids more sleep after research showed it was difficult for teens to fall asleep before 11 p.m.
Bonaccorsi says the impact would be a ripple effect from working parents, to staff, to funding.
“It will also have an impact on cafeteria workers, bus driver schedules, coordinating with the elementary school students,” he added. “Every community is different, every school district is different, and so let’s have local control on this particular question rather than one size fits all.”
Southern California Senator Anthony Portantino (D) who authored the bill, says he sees a more positive ripple effect on children.
He says studies found the later start time means better attendance rates, grade point averages, and a decrease in car accidents.
But Decker says the solution is at home, not in a law.
“We’re very active,” she said. “We have activities. We dance until nine o clock four nights a week and so they get home and get into bed by ten. I mean, it’s a matter of managing your time.”