Maryland Considers Studying Later School Start Times
Howard County school officials are already examining whether it’s a good idea to start high school later.
A hearing on a bill that would establish a task force to study whether it’s a good idea to start public schools in Maryland later is scheduled for Friday.
The bill, HB 1462, comes as school districts across the state, including Howard, Carroll, Anne Arundel and Montgomery counties have studied or are in the midst of examining whether later or different school start times are a good idea, according to the Baltimore Sun.
If approved, the task force would, among other things, study the “effects of sleep deprivation on academic performance” and would examine other school systems that have enacted a later school day.
The task force would make a recommendation on whether public schools should start no later than 8 a.m., according to the proposed bill text.
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In Howard County, high schools begin at 7:25 a.m.
Some people who are not in favor of changing start times say parents should be able to get their kids in bed in time for an early start.
“They have to learn that’s what after high school is,” Verna Schlein wrote on Ellicott City Patch’s Facebook page. “Getting up early and going to work … budgeting sleep, school homework and playtime is part of being an adult."
Donovan has met with members of the Howard County Board of Education and the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) as they begin a study into “the opening time of schools and the impact that an early opening has on the health and well-being of school students.”
HCPSS is in the earliest stages of a study to determine whether it will change start times; specifically, according to spokesperson Rebecca Amani-Dove, whether elementary schools should start first and high schools last.
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