School start times to remain the same after Governer Jerry Brown’s veto of SB 328

On Thursday Sept. 20, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed Senate Bill 328, the bill mandating all schools in California must start at 8:30 a.m. or later.

California lawmakers approved SB 328 on August 31, and Gov. Brown had to approve or veto the bill  by September 30. SCUSD Board Clerk Jodi Muirhead believed there was a chance Gov. Brown would not sign the bill.

“He has made many efforts in the last few years to give districts the chance to make decisions for their students,” Muirhead said.

The California School Boards Association (CBSA) advocated SB 328 should not be approved for numerous reasons. CBSA believed the bill did not meet the diverse needs of all the schools in the state, and Muirhead agreed.

“Districts have different circumstances that may necessitate an earlier start time,” Muirhead said.

SB 328 would not have affected SCHS greatly if approved, Muirhead said, stating the district would have implemented zero periods starting before 8:30 am, which would allow students to start at an earlier time.

According to an email CBSA sent out, the bill would, however, have negative effects on other districts. The shift of timing in schools’ schedules would affect the arrangements and activities students have before and after school the email said. It also stated that transportation, extracurriculars and parent work arrangements would all be at risk at certain districts that need an earlier start time.

Unlike CBSA, junior Amani Chowdhury was one of many students who supported SB 328. Chowdhury said she is disappointed it did not pass. She believes later school start times can have a lot of benefits.

“It would have improved students’ thoughts and emotions because they would have better sleep schedules and more time with friends and family,” Chowdhury said.

SCHS Principal Gregory Shelby suggested some students, like Chowdhury, should take the current second period option since students’ lack of sleep was one of the main variables taken into account regarding SB 238.

It’s different for everyone,” Shelby said. “The research [on sleep] is sound, but we have to take into account people of different socioeconomic levels.”