California students may get to sleep in a little later before school if a proposed bill passes.
SB-328, better known as the "Plan for Later" bill, is making its way through the Legislature and would prohibit middle schools and high schools from starting earlier than 8:30 a.m. The bill is based on recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics for the optimal time to start school to improve teenage health, academic success and sleeping habits.
Here are 5 things to know about the bill:
1. The saving or spending costs are still being looked into at the State Capitol. There are no estimates on dollar amounts yet, but the idea is that if there are later school start times, there will be a higher Average Daily Attendance (ADA), particularly for first and second class period. A higher ADA brings more money into the districts because funding is in part based upon how many students a district serves.
2. There are currently no states which mandate a later start time. California would be the first if the bill passes. However, there are hundreds of individual school districts across the U.S. which have opted for later start times including Davis Joint Unified School District.
3. School days would not be shorter. The bill would only shift the school day to start later and end later. It wouldn't cut down the number of hours attended in school.
4. The proposed bill won't affect "zero period", the extra period before the start of a regular school day which is sometimes used for extracurricular activities such as sports practice.
5. The Assembly Appropriations Committee is expected to look at the bill before September 1st. If approved, it still has to go through the Floor Assembly, then back to the Senate again for concurrence. If the governor signs off on the bill, it wouldn't go into effect until July 1st, 2020.