California School Start Times to change with SB 328.

Working parents will likely be affected by a new law which will require California middle and high schools to begin at 8:30 a.m. or later by July 1, 2022. 

SB 328, written by Democratic Sen. Anthony Portantino, was drafted in response to studies that show later start times lead to higher student learning outcomes. (A 2012 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control found that only 21% of middle and high schools in California started at 8:30 a.m. or later.)

The new law is likely to create new challenges for working parents, who often drop their children off to school on the way to work. For families who have early work start times, the only option might be a carpool or bus service.

There is one caveat to the new law: the legislation exempts rural school districts due to more expensive transportation costs and logistical challenges. However,  the definition of “rural” is not explained in the law, and the U.S. Department of Education has three different classifications for rural schools.

SB 328 goes into effect January 1, 2020. Compliance will depend on the date on which a school district’s or charter school’s respective collective bargaining agreement that is operative on January 1, 2020, expires.

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