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Hit That Snooze Button Again? Middle And High Schools Could See A Later Start Time

Coleever / Flickr

Coleever / Flickr

Bleary-eyed teenagers shuffling to school barely after daybreak could become a thing of the past if a state lawmaker has his way. A new proposal would push back middle and high school start times to at least 8:30 a.m.

 The idea is simple: if school starts later, students get more sleep, and good things result, Anthony Portantino, Los Angeles County Democratic Senator, says.

“It’s amazing, the number of positive benefits from this simple little tweak, of start time,” Portantino says.

He points to research showing benefits like better grades and fewer disciplinary problems. Well-rested students may also get along better at home – as anyone who’s had to roust a crabby teenager can attest.

One challenge Portantino expects will be the disruption to morning routines and commutes.

“We’re not just gonna say Jan. 1 this starts," Portantino says. "So there’s going to be a lead-up time for families to discuss local logistics, figure out carpools, figure out who’s walking to school, who’s taking the bus to school, who’s driving to school.”

One other benefit Portantino highlights for high-schoolers who drive themselves: They get into fewer car wrecks when they’re not so groggy every morning.


Daniel Potter


Daniel Potter started out as an intern at Nashville Public Radio, where he worked as a general assignment reporter for six years, covering everything from tornadoes to the statehouse.   Read Full Bio 

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