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Bill Would Push School Start Times for California Students

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SACRAMENTO -- A bill making its way through the California state legislature would mandate all schools start their day at 8:30 a.m. or later.

Most school districts begin their day at 8 a.m., with few starting earlier.

If Senate Bill 328 passes, the changes would go into effect in July 2020. The new rules would not apply to "zero" periods, extra courses offered before the regular start time.

The bill was authored by Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge, and Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento.

Supporters and sponsors of the bill say students' lack of sleep, particularly in adolescents, could lead to depression, obesity and poor school performance.

Critics of the bill say California's various school districts look and operate very differently depending on the specific community, and changing start times would affect end times -- and complicate family schedules.