NJ Senate Unanimously Approves Codey Bill for NJ Officials to Study Later Middle and High School Starting Times
TRENTON, NJ - Yesterday, a bill concerning later opening times for NJ middle and high schools, which was sponsored by New Jersey Senator Richard J. Codey (D), of Roseland, unanimously passed the state Senate. Still in the preliminary stages, the bill calls for officials from the NJ Department of Education to review studies which demonstrate that teens who start school later in the morning have better academic scores and are physically healthier than those students who start their mornings earlier.
“There are academic and health consequences
Describing the topic a “significant health issue” for adolescents, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a starting time of 8:30am or later for middle and high schools students. The school starting time is based on the doctors' studies that teens need a minimum of nine hours of sleep. and that teenagers' biological clocks prevents them from falling asleep before 11pm and waking up before 8am. Those students who do not get enough sleep experience greater incidences of obesity and depression while their grades also suffer.
“Students can’t learn if they are half asleep at their desks
NJ Legislative District 27 School Starting Times
The following public and private middle and high schools, which comprise Codey's own district - District 27 - have the following starting times:
Most of the country's 18,000 public high schools begin their school day before 8am.
According to Codey, studies have demonstrated that earlier start times result in more absences and tardiness as well as lower test scores. More than 1,000 schools across the country have already pushed back their start times and reviews of these districts have shown student improvements. Besides assessing the studies, the education officials are also being asked to try out later starting times at some NJ schools. After the officials assess the school opening time issue they will then report back to the state legislature and the governor.
The Codey bill was co-sponsored by NJ State Senator Shirley K. Turner (D), from District 15.