drwex: (VNV)
[personal profile] drwex
especially if you have, have had, or will have school-aged children, please consider adding your name to this petition to set Massachusetts Middle and High School start times to 8:30 AM or later.

We have had two children go through this. One managed/manages it, but would enjoy life more if it wasn't a requirement. The other is just not coping with school starting at 7:30.

There is reasonable scientific evidence that these hours are not beneficial for children, particularly as they approach puberty. And frankly it'd just be a lot less stress on parents.

Thanks for your consideration.

Date: 2017-05-03 01:37 am (UTC)
wotw: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wotw
I am strongly in favor of having middle and high school start times set to 8:30AM or later and strongly opposed to start times being mandated by the state legislature. Why isn't this a local issue?

Date: 2017-05-03 02:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lsl.livejournal.com
thanks for the pointer.

anything to get that ball rolling faster

Date: 2017-05-03 03:41 pm (UTC)
corylea: A woman gazing at the sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] corylea
I agree that the evidence suggests that high school children are badly served by early start times.

I do have a concern, though. Since many workplaces have start times of 8:00 a.m., if both parents work, the 8:30 school start time would mean that middle school and high school kids would have to get themselves off to school after their parents leave for work. I can see that as being potentially problematic, for the younger middle school kids and for oppositional/defiant kids of any age. You've clearly thought about this more than I have -- what's the thinking about how to handle the later start times for those kids?

Date: 2017-05-04 05:16 am (UTC)
c1: (Default)
From: [personal profile] c1
Funny you should ask... I saw this first hand. Many teachers have their children in the same district. It's the problem that works itself out on an ad-hoc basis.

Date: 2017-05-03 06:52 pm (UTC)
dcltdw: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dcltdw
Is there any legislation being circulated to this effect? Or any Rep or Sen taking point on this? I'd rather just ping my reps directly and point them at the actual item, rather than sign an online petition.

Date: 2017-05-04 01:16 pm (UTC)
chhotii: (Default)
From: [personal profile] chhotii
Agreed, that's about 10000% more effective than signing an on-line petition.

I have not had time to call my state Rep or Sen to ask about this yet (because after I spend 3 or 4 hours fighting with my daughter over the issue of getting to school at the start of every weekday, I don't have time for anything else). But Massachusetts was on the list of states where legislation had been introduced. I don't know if this is true, or even if it is, if the legislation is alive. Could be that it was introduced in a previous 2-year cycle, or that something was filed this year but it died on the way to committee. I just don't know.

If you want to ask your Rep or Sen, and point them to something concrete, point to the bill that's under consideration in California. Introduced by Senator Portantino, it's SB328. Here's an article about the California legislation: https://journal.thriveglobal.com/want-to-start-school-later-look-to-california-1469e7449d2d

If there isn't similar legislation current in the Massachusetts legislature, I think we have to wait for the beginning of 2019 for their next opportunity to file something. But between now and bill-filing time in 2019 we can be educating our legislators and having them think about what exactly to craft. (Assuming your legislators intend to run for re-election in 2018.)

Date: 2017-05-06 06:38 pm (UTC)
chhotii: (Default)
From: [personal profile] chhotii
So, I looked for legislation to this effect. I found Resolve S.227 (the Senate version) and Resolve H.2038 (the House version), which state that a committee should study this issue and file a report on it. I don't know what I think of this. The evidence is strong enough that any reasonable committee, upon studying this, should conclude by writing a report saying "oh hell yes schools should start later". But the composition of the committee is such that it would include at least a couple of Baker appointees, and Republicans seem to have a strange way of looking at evidence (think about global warming...) especially when certain lobbies have an interest in an issue. The football parents do certainly have an interest in the issue, opposed to later start time, and seem to be the type of lobby that would effectively bend the ear of Republican appointees. In a world in which the head of the EPA can consider global warming a "hoax", a committee could easily decide that between football schedules and bus expenses there's no way schools could start later. I wish the State Legislature would have hearings on school start times, rather than have a committee study this issue basically in secret.

So why were these Resolves filed, rather than some stronger legislation? I don't think they are trying to kill the idea. Is it because the legislators who filed these honestly don't know whether later school start times would be a good idea? Is it because the idea is so new and radical here, they think this is the strongest measure that would have any hope? I plan to call Senator Creem, who filed S.227, and who also happens to be my Senator, to ask.

Meanwhile you could point your reps to Resolve S.227 and Resolve H.2038. I guess it's better than nothing that they talk about talking about the issue, and that you talk about them talking about talking about this issue.

P.S. Especially if your Representative or Senator is on the Education committee!!! Because of course this has been referred to the Education committee to consider, or not.
Edited Date: 2017-05-06 06:40 pm (UTC)


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