Bill would prevent schools from starting class before 8:30 a.m.

GLENDALE, Calif. (WILX)- How early is too early for classes to start? Sleep experts say a long school day can take a toil on teenagers and maybe they shouldn't be up at the crack of dawn trying to get to class. A new bill in the California state legislature would ban middle and high schools from starting classes before 8:30 a.m.

Democratic Senator Anthony Portantino introduced the bill that would prevent the schools from starting class in California before 8:30 a.m. He says hundreds of school districts nationwide have moved to later start times and are seeing a real improvement in grades and attendance. "Car accidents, number one killer of teens in America, car accidents significantly go down said Portantino. "Sports injuries significantly go down, obesity goes down, drug use goes down."

The bill is drawing mixed reaction. Some teen drivers approve of the late start, saying they are often late because they are stuck in rush hour traffic trying to get to class. The California Teachers Association is against the bill and believes a later start time may not fit with parents work schedules. The board also says children could be left without a safe place to go in the morning before school starts.

Senator Portantino says the benefits outweigh the concerns. "For me it's a no brainer, we should follow the science, follow the results and put the best interest of our kids, first." If approved by the assembly and signed by the Governor, the measure would go into effect in 2020.

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