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The Online Student Newspaper of Central Bucks High School South

Titan Tribune

The Online Student Newspaper of Central Bucks High School South

Titan Tribune

The Online Student Newspaper of Central Bucks High School South

Titan Tribune

The Debate Regarding School Start Times


Later school start times have been an increasingly argued topic among law makers for a long time. 

Some states have already started to change schedules. California was the first, back in 2022, with its mandate that forbid middle schools from starting earlier than 8AM and high schools earlier than 8:30. Last year, Florida passed a similar law to the one in California, and it will go into effect in 2026.

So, why change school start times? Everything seems to work quite well. Students get to school on time, buses don’t really run behind schedule, right? Truthfully, the problem isn’t that easy to recognize straight away. It doesn’t have to do with the functionality or flexibility of the schedule; it’s the wellbeing of the students for whom the system is designed for.

One of the main arguments for a change in the current school start times is that they do not reserve enough time for proper sleep of students. A teenager should get an average of 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night and according to the American Psychological Association, “more than half of teens aged 15-17 sleep for 7 or fewer hours per school night.” 

Most students have extracurriculars, jobs and homework which causes them to stay up and get less hours of sleep than recommended. The tiredness can cause problems in the morning for the students. They become less attentive which makes it harder to properly learn material and are more likely to crash a car if they drive. 

The betterment of the health and wellbeing of the students is the main argument for the change in school start times. While it does help students, many argue against it due to its impact on people’s general lifestyles.

“Many educators, district leaders, and parents believe the shift will present significant operational and logistical challenges, complicate the scheduling of after-school extra-curricular activities, and disrupt the schedules of working parents,” Nea Today says.

Bus schedules changing due to start time changes means more traffic later in the day, sometimes when it’s around rush hour which some argue might be counterproductive towards the argument that changing start time could prevent crashes.

For most of these arguments, it could be debated that a simple change in general policy would fix all of these problems. Overall, changing school start times is a prolonging controversy, one that affects not only one state, but the whole country, especially with its growing popularity.

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