Bill to push back school start times advances

May 3, 2019 Staff Writer

Despite ACSA and several other education groups expressing opposition, the Senate Education Committee voted April 24 to advance Senate Bill 328 (Portantino), which would prohibit middle and high schools from beginning the school day before 8:30 a.m.

ACSA Governmental Relations advocates testified in opposition to the bill, which now advances to the appropriations committee after a 4-2 vote.

Proponents of the bill cite research that shows sleep deprivation negatively affects educational outcomes in areas such as attendance, discipline and test scores.

After doing her own research, Sen. Connie M. Leyva, D-Chino, the Chair of the Senate Education Committee, cast a no vote on the bill that she supported last year.

“As the bill was presented in the Senate Education Committee, SB 328 would have likely created several unintended consequences, including impacts in terms of cost and also equity concerns for working and single parent families. School districts in California are already able to implement later school start times and I do not believe that a one-size-fits-all approach for the entire state is appropriate,” Leyva said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other remedies for sleep deprivation in teens include educating families on the importance of sleep and more parental guidance on the issue.

A coalition of education groups oppose SB 328, including ACSA, the California School Boards Association, the California Teachers Association, CASBO, and the California Association of Suburban School Districts. They have identified a number of issues with the bill, including programs that would be affected by a later start time such as child care programs, afterschool programs, athletics, academic interventions, and transportation from home to school.

These groups contend that even a small change to school schedules has the potential to impact an entire district’s economic outlook.

ACSA Governmental Relations advocate Cathy McBride testified against the bill, stating later that “ACSA is not opposed to starting school later for middle and high school students, if the locally elected board, school principals, teachers, students, and parents determine a later start time to be beneficial to the students and communities they serve.”

Groups opposing the bill also stressed the huge impact this change would have on working parents. A change to school start times would directly affect many parents’ ability to ensure that their children are in a safe environment while balancing the demands of their work schedules, which will likely place additional demand on school districts to provide staffing for supervision prior to the start of the school day.

Additionally, the issue of whether or not the bill aligns with a policy of local control is an issue. McBride stressed that ACSA strongly opposes any legislation that interferes with local control, saying, “ACSA must oppose a top-down, statewide mandate that is counter to local control and does not allow any discretion for local decision makers.”

The bill passed out of committee and will go to the Senate Appropriations Committee next, which is chaired by Sen. Anthony Portantino, the author of SB 328.

Bills to Watch

ACSA’s Governmental Relations team is currently monitoring hundreds of bills in the California Legislature. The following are some of the significant measures.


AB 39 (Muratsuchi): Local Control Funding Formula Targets – The bill would establish new funding targets for the LCFF formula which would increase the level of base grants which correlates into increases in the supplemental and concentration grants. (SUPPORT)

SCA 5 (Hill): Parcel Taxes – Seeks to reduce the vote threshold to 55% for a local school parcel tax. (SUPPORT)

SB 729 (Portantino): Local Control Funding Formula – This bill dedicates additional funding to the LCFF by increasing the applicable cost-of-living adjustment for the LCFF in 2019-20. (WATCH)

Early Childhood Education

AB 123 (McCarty): State Preschool Access – A comprehensive proposal that modifies the eligibility criteria for the State Preschool Program to increase access to low-income 4-year-old children and increases quality standards and requirements of teachers while improving the state reimbursement rate. (SUPPORT)

SB 443 (Rubio): Transitional Kindergarten – Allows a district to generate average daily attendance funding for pupils admitted to a transitional kindergarten who have their birthday after December 2. (WATCH)

Charter Schools

AB 1505 (O’Donnell, Bonta, McCarthy & Smith): Charter school Petitions – Proposes to keep charter school authorizing at the local level by providing school district “may” authorize rather than “shall” authorize, limits the current charter appeal process, and revokes the authority of the State Board of Education to approve charter schools. This bill also requires the chartering authority to consider whether the charter school maintains sound management of its business and financial operations during renewal. (WATCH)

AB 1506 (McCarty): Charter school cap – Establishes a statewide cap on the number of charter schools authorized, as of January 1, 2020. Further, the bill prohibits school districts and county offices of education from authorizing more charter schools beyond the number authorized on January 1, 2020. In the future, after one charter school closes in a school district or county office of education, one new charter school can be authorized, so that the number of charter schools operating does not increase. (WATCH)

AB 1507 (Smith): Charter schools: location – Would delete the authority of a charter school to locate outside the geographic boundaries of the chartering school district either temporarily or by stating that a lack of facilities are available. (SUPPORT)

Special Education

AB 428 (Medina): Special Education Equalization – Requires Special Education funding rates be equalized to the 95th percentile and establishes a funding formula within SB 602 for programs serving preschoolers with disabilities. AB 428 also establishes a high-cost service allowance to provide additional funding for students with severe disabilities and allows school districts to calculate a declining enrollment adjustment based on individual school district ADA rather than SELPA enrollment. (SUPPORT)

SB 217 (Portantino): Early Intervention – Creates the Early Intervention Grant Program, which would be designed to increase inclusive access to early education programs for children with exceptional needs and expand eligibility for transitional kindergarten to include children with exceptional needs turning 5 years old at any time during the school year. (WATCH)

Mental Health

AB 1546 (Kiley & O’Donnell): Pupil Mental Health – Permits LEAs to make direct claims for Medi-Cal Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment funds. (SUPPORT)

SB 582 (Beall): Pupil Mental Health – Restores $15 million in funding for Proposition 63 mental health triage grants to support Local Education Agency’ ability to offer preventative, early intervention, and direct mental health services to youth. (SUPPORT)


AB 48 (O’Donnell): School Facilities Bond – K-Community College school facility bond for the March 2020 and November 2022 ballots. The amount of the bond has not yet been determined. (SUPPORT)

SB 419 (Skinner): Willful Defiance – Expands the permanent elimination of suspensions for “willful defiance” from K-3 to K-8 and eliminates 9-12 grade willful defiance suspensions until January 1, 2025. (SUPPORT)

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