Maryland legislature passes bill to study school start times


SchoolStartTimeThe Maryland legislature passed a bill last week that will required the study of appropriate school start times.

The bill, House Bill 883, “Study of Safe and Healthy School Hours for Maryland Public Schools,” requires Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to conduct a study of morning bell times.

The study will review the science on the sleep needs of children and adolescents, including the effects of sleep deprivation on academic performance and benefits of sufficient sleep. It will also examine how other school systems have implemented alternative starting times and consider how school activities were affected. Finally, it will make recommendations regarding whether public schools should implement a beginning time of no earlier than 8 a.m. The study will draw on input from a variety of community stakeholders and is mandated for completion by end of 2014.