Maryland Considers Studying Later School Start Times
Anne Arundel County school officials recently completed a study to look at scenarios for starting high school later.
A hearing on a bill that would establish a task force to study whether it’s a good idea to start Maryland public schools later is scheduled for Friday in Annapolis.
The bill, HB 1462, comes as school districts across the state—including Anne Arundel, Carroll, Howard and Montgomery counties—have studied or are in the midst of examining whether later or different school start times are a good idea, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) released their study earlier this month with options that considers delaying school start times along with financial burdens.
The group Start School Later Inc. is among those rallying support for the bill and co-founder Maribel C. Ibrahim wrote on Patch that experts and professionals will be invited to testify Friday on the bill. The Ways and Means Committee hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday.
If approved, the task force would, among other things, study the “effects of sleep deprivation on academic performance” and would examine other school systems that have enacted a later school day.
The task force would make a recommendation on whether public schools should start no later than 8 a.m., according to the proposed bill text.
Currently, all public high schools in Anne Arundel County start at 7:17 a.m. and some middle schools start at 7:55 a.m.
One of the proposed scenarios in the AACPS study simply shifts high school hours to start at 9:45 a.m. and end at 4:33 p.m. While this change wouldn't have financial ramifications, it would impact all after-school activities and sports, as well as the Center for Applied Technology facilities. Click here to read the full AACPS report online.