New law makes CA first state to push back school start times

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new law on Sunday evening that bans California public high schools from starting before 8:30 a.m. and prohibits middle schools from beginning before 8 a.m.


(Photo by Courtney Perry/For the Washington Post)

This will make California the first state in the nation to mandate the later start times.

The proposal was designed to make a positive impact on educational outcomes by giving students more time to sleep.

RELATED: California bill could limit early school start times; no class before 8:30 a.m.

Teachers and school districts opposed the law, arguing the decision on when to start school should be left to local officials.   

The bill's (SB 328) author, state Sen. Anthony Portantino, said Newsom's signature "put our children's health and welfare ahead of institutional bureaucracy resistant to change."   

"Shifting to a later start time will improve academic performance and save lives because it helps our children be healthier," Portantino said.   

Schools must adhere to the new law before July 1, 2022, or sooner if they have collective bargaining units that allow negotiation before the deadline.

A legislative analysis of the bill Newsom signed into law noted studies about the impacts of school start times over the past 15 years have had "wide variation in conclusions."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.