July 1, 2019 | Number of The Day
New high school start time Legislature has approved for testing in pilot program

The state Assembly has passed a bill that would push back New Jersey high school start times to 8:30 a.m.

The legislation was sponsored by Assemblywomen Mila Jasey (D-Essex), Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), and Carol Murphy (D-Burlington) to assess how pushing back the start times could be beneficial to student academic performance. “Teens are operating on too little sleep to the detriment of their physical, social, emotional and ultimately academic well-being,” said Jasey. “With later school start times, students could get a little more sleep giving them just the extra boost they need for success. It’s a strategy that has great potential to work in our largely diverse state and merits our attention.”

The bill was passed by a 72-0-3 vote in the full Assembly on Thursday and will now go to Gov. Phil Murphy. It (A-4865) establishes a four-year pilot program to study the impact of implementing later start times across New Jersey high schools. To participate, school districts would submit an application to the state Commissioner of Education. Five schools would be selected to represent the northern, central and southern regions of the state as well as a combination of urban, suburban and rural areas.