FOX NEWS - California lawmakers voted Friday to bar middle and high schools from starting before 8:30 a.m., one of dozens of proposals debated in the Legislature on the final day of its legislative session.
The bill, SB328, narrowly passed in both chambers. Nearly 80 percent of California middle and high schools started earlier than 8:30 a.m. in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If Gov. Jerry Brown signs SB328, schools will have about three years to comply. It would not apply to rural schools or to extra periods offered before the start of a school day. It would not mandate changes to school day lengths.
Supporters point to science that shows later start times make kids healthier by letting them get more sleep and help them graduate.
"This is the single most cost-effective thing we can do to improve high school graduation rates," Assemblyman Jay Obernolte, R-Hesperia, said.
Opponents say local school boards, not the state, should determine start times.
"When it comes to education, the farther away the decisions are made from the classroom, the worse those decisions are," Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, said.