San Diego

Later School Start Time Bill Heads to Gov. Newsom's Desk

Middle and high school students might have more time to hit the snooze button before school starts as the California State Legislature approved a bill that will allow for later school start times.

Senate Bill 328, first introduced in February 2019, was approved by the State Legislature on Saturday.

If passed, the bill will require high and middle schools, including charter schools, to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

Three pilot schools, including San Diego Schools of Creative and Performing Arts, were already testing the late-start schedule in San Diego.

"Waking up later is better but getting out later conflicts with other schools for students who have to play sports, like me," said Kaijah Peterson, a student at SDSCPA.

"I went to school early and I didn't have no healthy time, and I'm doing ok," said Peterson's mom.

Those who support the bill said late start times can improve grades, behavior, and emotional health but others argued the time change makes it more difficult to balance work and school schedules.

Now, it's up to Governor Gavin Newsom to make it official.

"Hopefully when the other schools change over it'll work more smoothly,” said Peterson's mom.

But, Michael Huggins who lives near the school doesn't see a smooth transition in sight.

"It's the time change. The time change has everything different,” Huggins said.

He's lived in the same area for 11 years, and now that students are going into school later, he said he's stuck rearranging his work schedule.

"The street is jam-packed with cars; cars everywhere. Now it takes me a little longer before I can leave," explained Huggins.

Governor Newsom has until Oct. 13 to sign the bill. If approved, it will be implemented in 2020.

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