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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: October 3, 2017 03:33 PM
From: Representative Alexander T. Charlton
To: All House members
Subject: Study of School Start Times
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation that will require the Pennsylvania Department of Education to conduct a study of issues, benefits and options related to instituting a later start time to the school day in secondary schools.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has recommended that adolescents receive 8-10 hours of sleep per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended middle and high schools aim for start times that allow students to receive the recommended amount of sleep. Furthermore, research has shown that adolescents who do not get enough sleep are more likely to suffer from physical and mental health problems, suicide ideation, and are at an increased risk of being involved in an automobile accident and are more likely to decline in academic performance. The US Department of Health’s Office of Disease Prevention and Health has made sufficient sleep for high school students an objective of their Healthy People 2020 Program, and the National Sleep Foundation notes the consequences of sleep deprivation during teenage years are especially serious.

This legislation would require the Department of Education to consider the recent recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics on the establishment of later school start times and include an assessment of the health, academic and safety benefits associated with establishing later start times. Additionally, this legislation would require the department to evaluate any potential negative impacts that may be associated with later school start times. Upon conclusion of the study, the Department of Education shall present the House and Senate Education Committee Chairmen with a report of their findings.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1912