By Mini Racker, LA Times
A two-year battle to set middle and high school start times at 8:30 a.m. or later was finally put to bed in the Legislature when the measure squeaked through Friday night.
Last year, Senate Bill 328 by Democratic Sen. Anthony Portantino failed to pass the Assembly by 15 votes. Since then, the bill was amended to exempt rural school districts in order to accommodate farming needs.
Lawmakers enthusiastically affirmed the research the bill was based on, which shows that early start times combined with teenagers’ natural sleep schedules lead to sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep, in turn, increases risks of poor grades, mental illness and car accidents. One study found moving start times from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. made students happier and more likely to show up for class.