California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation passed by the state assembly last month to start school later for middle and high school students.
Brown called Senate Bill 328 a “one-size-fits-all approach” when explaining the reason for rejecting mandatory start times of no earlier than 8:30 a.m. for older students.
“Several schools have already moved to later start times. Others prefer beginning the school day earlier,” Brown wrote to members of the state senate on Thursday. “These are the types of decisions best handled in the local community.”
The California Association of School Transportation Officials, California Teachers Association and California School Boards Association opposed the bill, while the California PTA supported it. The legislation would have prohibited middle schools and high schools from starting earlier than 8:30 a.m. Sen. Anthony Portantino, who introduced SB 328, cited research that indicates older children and teens require more sleep to improve their health and learning.
But the California School Boards Association argued that not all students have the same needs. Additionally, it said mandatory school start times ignore local factors, such as school bus transportation routing, extracurricular activities and the availability of before- and after-school child care.
The Assembly’s education committee analyzed SB 328 and said it would have cost school districts approximately $10 million in additional funds to comply with the law.