School Start Times (VETOED)

WHAT THE BILL WOULD DO

Sleep-deprived kids could catch a few more winks if SB 328 takes effect. The bill would prevent school districts from scheduling middle and high school classes to start any earlier than 8:30 a.m. Rural school districts get an exemption.

WHO SUPPORTS IT

SB 328 gets high marks from sleep scientists, the California State PTA and some school districts, who say early start times can lead to chronic sleep loss, compromising students’ mental and physical health.

WHO’S OPPOSED

The California School Boards Association argues districts need to stagger start times in order to use their bus fleets efficiently and accommodate parents’ work schedules. They succeeded in quashing the bill last year, but the Legislature resurrected it in August. Teacher unions were split on the issue, with the California Federation of Teachers supporting the bill while the California Teachers Association opposed it.

WHY IT MATTERS

More than three-quarters of California’s middle and high schools start classes before 8:30, according to a legislative analysis.

GOVERNOR’S DECISION

Vetoed by Governor Brown on September 20, 2018.

From his veto message: “This is a one-size-fits-all approach that is opposed by teachers and school boards…These are the types of decisions best handled in the local community.”

—Felicia Mello