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Waking up to smarter school scheduling

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By Peter Funt

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, father of four young children, has signed a landmark bill that should serve as a wake-up call for educators and lawmakers across the nation.

The measure addresses sleep deprivation among youngsters by forbidding high schools from starting classes before 8:30 a.m., and middle schools before 8.

Inadequate sleep among students is a serious global problem. California lawmakers responded to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control showing that later start times for secondary students not only improve learning, but decrease health challenges like obesity and mental illness.

California's first-in-the-nation legislation puts student sleep requirements alongside a growing array of issues ― such as children's vaccinations ― for which settled science isn't as persuasive for many Americans as it ought to be.

Newsom's predecessor Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill, calling it a "one size fits all approach." He said school schedules were better left up to local school districts, thus dodging........

© The Korea Times