Gov. Gavin Newsom Sunday signed first-of-its-kind legislation to mandate later start times at California middle and high schools, according to the local state senator responsible for the bill.
SB 328 from State Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge) was written on the basis of three decades of studies on teen health, sleep patterns and brain chemistry, he said in a statement, adding that it had the support of the California State PTA.
The research, he said, indicates that when the school day starts later, children are significantly healthier and perform better academically.
“Today, Governor Newsom displayed a heartwarming and discerning understanding of the importance of objective research and exercised strong leadership as he put our children’s health and welfare ahead of institutional bureaucracy resistant to change,” Portantino said.
“Generations of children will come to appreciate this historic day and our governor for taking bold action,” he said.
The California State PTA co-sponsored the bill. Speaking on the group’s behalf, Carol Kocivar said, “When teens get enough sleep, they are safer, healthier and do better in school. The California State PTA is proud to co-sponsor this bill and looks forward to helping implement this historic initiative across our state.”
Last year, Sen. Portantino sent a similar bill to then-Governor Jerry Brown, who vetoed it.