September 17, 2018
The Honorable Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
Governor of the State of California
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SB 328 (Portantino): Pupil attendance: school start time
AAP-CA Position: SUPPORT
Dear Governor Brown:
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, respectfully requests your signature on proposed legislation SB 328 (Portantino). This bill would require that the regular school day for middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.
A growing body of research indicates that the sleep patterns of adolescents are different from that of adults. AAP Policy states, “…the evidence strongly implicates earlier school start times (i.e., before 8:30 AM) as a key modifiable contributor to insufficient sleep, as well as circadian rhythm disruption in this population [adolescents],” and “a substantial body of research has now demonstrated that delaying school start times is an effective countermeasure to chronic sleep loss and has a wide range of potential benefits to students with regard to physical and mental health, safety, and academic achievement.”
Sleep deprivation in adolescents has been associated with several negative consequences, including increased tardiness and/or absenteeism, poor grades, depression, anxiety, high-risk behavior (such as drug addiction), and car accidents.
Recent research examined the impact of a 30 minute delay in school start time and reported that this time delay was associated with a significant increase in self-reported sleep duration and a decrease in a number of ratings of daytime sleepiness. Perhaps more important, students rated themselves as less depressed and more motivated to participate in a variety of activities and were less likely to seek medical attention for fatigue-related concerns in conjunction with the change in start times.
Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 across the state strongly support SB 328 (Portantino) and respectfully urge your signature.
Thank you for your leadership and public service on behalf of the health and well-being of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: AAP-CA leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne; Senator Anthony Portantino; Ankit Modi, MD