California has become the first state of the United States of America to push back the start time at most public schools with an objective that it will help adolescents to perform better in class.

On Sunday, Governor Gavin Newsom has signed the new law, which calls for middle schools to ring in classes no earlier than 8:00 AM, and high schools not before 8:30 AM. 

This measure would become effective by July 1, 2022, or when a school district’s three-year trading deal expires that is operative on January 1, 2020. 

Most schools in California are currently starting the day at 8:00 AM and some need students to be in class before 7:30 AM. 

Governor Newsom said in a statement that “the science shows that teenage students who start their day later increase their academic performance, attendance and overall health.”

He continued that “importantly, the law allows three years for schools and school districts to plan and implement these changes.”

While this initiative has received support from several medical associations, including the California Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the bill has run into opposition by some school districts and lawmakers. 

Senator Connie Leyva told the Sacramento Bee that “we can all agree that our students need a sufficient amount of sleep and that sleep time is a significant and important factor in overall health, but improving sleep time for students requires more than just later start times.”

She continued, “I believe that school start times should continue to be determined at the local level, because it is inappropriate to say that a one-size-fits-all approach should guide all schools or all communities.”

Ms. Leyva and other critics have also noted that changes in time will prove to be a trouble for many working parents, who may be unable to adjust their scheduled. 

The President of the University of California, Janet Napolitano has said that the state would perform better to carry out a pilot study on later starting time ahead of imposing it on school districts. 

She further said, “As much as I sympathize with sleepy students, we must also carefully consider how the change would affect families and schools.”

As per the report of numerous studies, there is a significant connection between the amount of sleep the adolescents get and school performance. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics has said that it “recognizes insufficient sleep in adolescents as an important public health issue that significantly affects the health and safety, as well as the academic success, of our nation’s middle and high school students.”

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