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AdvocacyPublic, legislative and legal advocacy

UPDATE:

Senate Bill 328 vetoed by Gov. Brown - 9/20/18

At 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20, Gov. Jerry Brown announced that he has vetoed SB 328.

Click here to view the Governor's veto message.

Thank you for your engagement on this important issue!

 


 

What's wrong with SB 328?

Unfortunately, Senate Bill 328 takes a cookie-cutter approach by mandating start times of 8:30 a.m. or later for middle and high schools throughout the state — no matter the needs of the local community.

But studies show later start time are good! Right?

The California School Boards Association (CSBA) does not oppose later school start times; CSBA opposes a mandate on school start times. Individual school boards should be able to explore whether later start times make sense for their communities, but this approach should not be required. Local students, parents and teachers understand their needs better than Sacramento legislators and have the most stake in doing what’s right for children and families. 

If this bill passes, how could I be affected?

Here are some factors to consider, if this bill becomes law.

  • Getting to work on time: Many parents in California do not have the option to change their work schedules to accommodate a later start time. A mandated start time of 8:30 a.m. could create a problem for families who have long commutes between home, school and work, or lack the resources to pay for additional child care.
  • Your child’s safety: Funding for before- and after-school programs has failed to keep pace with demand over the last decade. There are far fewer programs and activities in the morning that offer supervision for students and can help ensure their safety. SB 328’s late start time mandate means more children would be unsupervised in the morning if their transportation arrives at the same time it does currently, but school begins at a later hour.
  • School bus schedules/availability: Many school districts and county offices of education are facing increasing cost pressures for home-to-school transportation, requiring them to stretch school start times over a wider span of time to meet local demand. SB 328 would reduce the ability of schools to adapt as needed.
  • Less money for programs and classrooms: By forcing school districts to spend more on costly busing and to create more before-school programs (without state support), SB 328 diverts badly needed resources away from the programs selected by school boards, which are tailored to meet the needs of their specific students.
  • Later end to school day (extracurriculars, job opportunities and athletics): Later school start times result in a later end to the school day, which would affect access to school clubs and extracurricular activities, sports (because school must stagger athletic practice and competition to provide students with access to fields and gyms), community college courses or part-time jobs.

California is a big state, with people and communities as diverse as its vast landscape. This should be a decision made by YOU and your local school board, not by mandates from Sacramento that ignore local conditions and local knowledge.