Hillsborough passes earlier school start times for high schools

- The Hillsborough County School Board passed a plan that will start high school classes earlier in the 2018-2019 school year.

The proposal passed on a 6-1 vote with board member Melissa Snively casting the only 'no' vote.

The plan would start high school classes at 7:15 a.m., 18 minutes earlier than the present 7:33 a.m.

District officials say the change will allow more time between runs for school bus drivers so that students can reach class on time.

District officials say up to 10,000 students a day are late to class because buses are late. They say the move will also save more than $2 million that can be diverted to classroom instruction.

The Hillsborough County Pediatric Society opposed the change saying teenagers are already sleep deprived.

They cited research showing a lack of sleep can cause depression and obesity.

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a report in 2014 recommending that teens get between 8.5 and 9.5 hours of sleep. The report recommends that classes should start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

 

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