Victoria Choi Troy High School 10th grade
California is the first state to have taken action in support of late start times. Passed by Senator Anthony Portantino, the new law has implemented a schedule where the first-period bell rings no earlier than 8:30 a.m. for high schools and no earlier than 8:00 for middle schools at the start of the 2022-2023 school year. With the law passed by California, many states have followed, such as Ohio and the United States Virgin Islands.
Debates have sparked among parents, school boards, administrators, and teachers about the effectiveness of new legislation implemented. Although later school times have been discussed as a possibility for a longer sleeping period, later starting bells would point to later dismissal bells, leading to conflicts in extracurricular activities and a later start on homework. Ultimately, keeping schedules for earlier school times would be the more beneficial option.
When asked about her opinion on later school start times, Cecilia Lee, a sophomore from Troy High School, replied that she would not like school starting later due to the day ending later. Taking part in several after school activities-- speech and debate, robotics, and cyber security-- Lee mentioned that late start would only serve as an inconvenience by pushing the times of these extracurriculars back, leading to a later start on homework.
This is the case for many other students who are involved in various clubs and activities after school. As for athletes, those who are a part of school teams would either have to miss more class time during school, or simply return home later, meaning less time to study.
The shift in time would also affect the schedules of working parents, who will have to accommodate the work starting times with the new school starting times. According to a study done by the University of Michigan, half of the parents do not support schools starting a later time, worried about changing schedules and students fitting in after school activities. Ann Chung, controller of Ace Engineering Inc, is a working parent with inflexible hours from 8am-5pm. Chung states, “Pushing school start times back would cause a conflict with work hours, as there would not be enough time to drop off my kids and then get to work on time.” Teachers have also voiced opposition against new late start times. Out of 12,000 teachers from the Montgomery County district, 63 percent were in favor of keeping regular school schedules, with concerns toward after school activities and transportation.
As a result, changing school schedules would not only cause further hindrances to students, but also to parents and teachers. Although possibilities of having a longer sleep schedule may be associated with late start, the length of sleep would most likely stay the same due to school activities that would continue on longer, leading to a later bedtime.