Portantino: School Day Should Start Later

State Sen. Anthony Portantino introduced a bill Monday that seeks to require California school districts to start their middle and high school days no earlier than 8:30 a.m.
The Senate Bill 328 may be voted on anytime 31 days after publication, which will be March 16.
Portantino, a La Cañada Flintridge resident, cited a 2014 statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics indicating that insufficient sleep for teenage adolescents poses a public health risk and also has an adverse effect academically. The group advised districts to start school at 8:30 a.m. or later.
AAP also reported districts that have delayed the start of the class day have experienced increased attendance rates, grade-point averages, state assessment scores, and college admission test scores.
Furthermore, fewer students were involved in car accidents and disciplinary action. There was also a decrease in the number of students who fell asleep during lectures, according to AAP’s reporting.
“Every year we discuss, as parents, educators and legislators, best practices and interests of the children and education,” Portantino said in a statement publicizing Bill 328. “Well, data is clear: Starting the school day later improves the quality of education, health and welfare of our children. So let’s do it.”
At La Cañada High School, “0” period currently begins at 6:42 a.m. With the exception of staff collaboration days, first period starts at 7:45 a.m. The average school day in the state starts at 8:07 a.m.
On Wednesday, Portantino also introduced another bill (SB 419) aimed at prohibiting individuals younger than 21 from being prescribed oxycodone, which is more commonly known by its brand name OxyContin.

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