California Schools to Adopt Later Class Start Time

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. oblige / əˈblaɪdʒ / (v) – to have someone do something because of a rule or law

    Medical practitioners are obliged to keep patient records confidential.

  2. promote / prəˈmoʊt / (v) – to support or encourage something so that it can progress or spread

    School administrators said that homework helps promote a sense of responsibility among students.

  3. deprivation / ˌdɛp rəˈveɪ ʃən / (n) – the absence of something

    Many students suffer from sleep deprivation because they have too many after-school activities.

  4. take effect / teɪk ɪˈfɛkt / (phrasal) – to begin being implemented

    The new law will take effect by next year.

  5. opponent / əˈpoʊ nənt / (n) – someone who disapproves of someone or something

    Opponents of the bill marched into the streets to protest against it.


Read the text below.

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill that obliges middle schools and high schools to adjust classes to a later time.

Senate Bill (SB) 328 stipulates that classes should start at 8:00 a.m. or later. Proponents said that this aims to promote good health among teenagers. It also recognizes that the early start time in middle schools and high schools causes sleep deprivation, which leads to absenteeism, bad academic performance, and depression. This is backed by a study from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The bill will fully take effect starting July 2022. However, optional activities done before the start of regular classes are exempted from this ruling. Schools in rural areas are also excluded because of bus schedules.

The bill was approved with a 44-17 vote last month in the California State Assembly after being disapproved twice by previous administrations. Bill author Senator Anthony Portantino is happy with Newsom’s approval and delighted that the governor values scientific research. He also praised the governor for prioritizing children’s health and welfare.

Despite praise for the new bill, there are still some who do not agree with the ruling. The primary opponents of the bill include school administrators and academic organizations in California.

Opponents argued that the ruling will affect many things, including programs or sports that students participate in before and after classes. It will also affect transport schedules and school personnel’s employee contracts. Some school superintendents said that the needs of students, parents, and staff should all be considered when determining class schedules.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you agree with the California governor’s decision to pass the SB 328? Why or why not?
• Aside from starting classes at a later time, what other things can schools do to ensure that students are in good health? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Why do you think some students choose to do many activities (e.g. sports or club activities) after school despite these leading to less time for rest? Discuss.
• What is the best way for students to manage their time well and get enough rest? Explain.