Schools in California implement schedule change

Photo courtesy of Office of the Lieutenant Governor of California, Wikipedia

Everyone knows the amount of sleep we are supposed to get growing up. The desired eight to 10 hours only available to the few lucky scholars who just happen to know time management like it is no one’s business. 

Yet controversy arose when California Governor Gavin Newson signed a legislation stating that over the next three years, state schools implement changes to their schedules so that middle schools start no earlier than 8 a.m. and high schools no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

I cannot remember a single morning in high school where I woke up without wishing I could sleep in, but I cannot say it was the worst thing in the world either.

Many critics have taken note of the fact that this change can create more problems for parents, as they, too, have to rearrange their schedules to fit the schools’ schedule. 

Not to mention, giving these kids more time before school does not necessarily mean there will no longer be any struggles among students. While they will have the opportunity to sleep more, there is no way to be certain they will use it accordingly.

It is important to realize that pushing the entrance time will also push after-school activities towards later times. For students who may have a job or participate in extracurricular activities, that may mean they go to sleep later just to be able to manage all these responsibilities without falling behind in class.

“A later start to class can force parents to scramble for early morning childcare before starting long commutes,” NBC writer Erin Einhorn said. “Other communities grappled with scheduling sports practices, especially in the early darkness of winter, and districts have had to come up with extra funds to adjust bus routes or provide childcare.”

A wide variety of education groups opposed the law because of such issues.

Troy Flint, a spokesman for the California School Boards Association, mentioned that “what we object to is a one-size-fits-all unfunded mandate that discourages parental choice and does not take into account the diverse needs of various communities across the state.”

The Washington Post has said that for the most part, “research shows students who get enough sleep are less likely to be late and absent from school, and more likely to be alert and get better grades.” 

Surely there are plenty of studies and cases in which pushing back the entrance time has proved to be successful. However, schools have entered at early times for quite a while now and we have all made it this far; schools would be better off directly teaching kids time management skills.

The majority of jobs today start early in the morning, so students might as well train themselves to properly manage their time from a young age.