NJ Study Concludes State Should Not Mandate School Start Times

Apr 28, 2017

A study ordered by Governor Christie and New Jersey lawmakers has determined the state should not force middle and high schools to have later start times.

The study group says research suggests sleep deprivation endangers students’ academic performance and well-being, but there are impediments to delaying the start of school times.

Frank Belluscio is deputy executive director of the New Jersey School Boards Association.

"One of the major considerations has been the transportation scheduling and parents also do want to have their children to have the opportunities for sports and other after school activities, and that's much more easily accommodated with an earlier start time."

Only about 9 percent of the 847 middle and high schools in the state have a start time of 8:30 or later.

The study found that principals of schools that changed to a later start in the last five years were split between those who saw some improvement for students and those who found it made no difference.