New Bill in California May Give High Schoolers a Chance To Get More Sleep


Kylie de Best

When students don’t get enough sleep, it can affect how they perform academically.

Kylie de Best, Photojournalist

High schoolers are infamous for complaining about not getting enough sleep on school nights. The ideal amount of sleep a teenager is supposed to get is roughly eight hours, but many only get about seven. 


Some of the many causes of this are because of the many extracurricular activities teens participate in that continue until the evening, not to mention the piles of homework they recieve. After this issue has been repeatedly addressed to the state of California, they are finally coming up with a solution called the later school start bill. 


In the bill, it states that middle schools are to start no earlier than 8:00 a.m. and high schools no earlier than 8:30 a.m. Although it doesn’t apply to a zero period, which is an optional class period students choose to take, it brings many benefits. It will help kids do better in class, as more sleep will make it easier for them to stay focused. Higher test scores are something schools like to have, since it gives them bragging rights and a good reputation. When schools that start before 8:00 a.m. are compared to those that start after, the schools that start after have much fewer tardies. This is a relief for those who have trouble getting to school on time everyday. Studies have also shown that later start times also improve a teen’s mood, decreasing their thoughts of depression and irritation. 


Since the idea of the bill was first introduced, it has gone a long way. As of September 13, the billed has been approved by the State Legislature, and is now waiting for the final decision of Governor Gavin Newsom. If he signs the bill, we should start to see schools starting later beginning in the 2022-2023 school year. “I think it’s valuable to start later so we can be in line with other schools across the nation,” says school counselor Lorri Walls (Staff), “However, it takes a lot to change the tradition that we have.” 


Although the change will have many benefits, it may bring some complications with scheduling. For example, for the buses bringing students to school, the times they come will have to be rearranged, and additional bus drivers will need to be hired. This will cost the state tens of millions of dollars, and districts hundreds of thousands of dollars. It will also be inconvenient for working parents who may have to change their work schedule in order to get their child to and from school. 


Later start times will be a big change for the schools in California. From the benefits to a teen’s health to the frantic schedule changing, it will be a gamble as to whether or not it will work out well. Now we just have to wait and see what the governor says.