URGENT! Make your voice heard on later start time for high schools before 2p today! (HCR 3)

Nationwide, school districts are shifting to or exploring a shift to later start time for secondary schools. This is due to a body of scientific evidence showing that teen sleep cycles warrant later start times for the physical and mental health benefits, as well as for public safety. Rep. Suzanne Harrison is presenting HCR 3, a non-binding resolution to encourage the adoption of later start times for Utah high schools, today at 2pm to the Health and Human Services Committee in Senate building 210.

TAKE ACTION NOW: Please send a quick email to legislators on the committee NOW (before 2p!) to ask them to support this good bill!

Write your brief email to the members of the House Health and Human Services Committee in the box on the lower right. Simply click “Start Writing” to begin. You may use the talking points below to inform your letter.

Information for your letter

What would HCR 3 Concurrent Resolution Encouraging Consideration of a Later Start Time for High School do?

Encourages school districts, and school community councils across Utah to discuss and adopt later start times for high school students.

Suggested Talking Points

(Remember to personalize your comments for the greatest impact! Why do YOU support this proposal?)

  • As cited in the bill, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Psychological Association, among others, recommend that high schools begin no earlier than 8:30am.  Additional research from the National Sleep Foundation shows increased absenteeism and chronic tardies under early start times. Combined, this body of evidence reveals that encouraging districts to make this change would support improved academic, social, emotional, and health outcomes.
  • A later start time would also encourage improved grades, reduced disciplinary problems, and the reduced risk of traffic accidents. In addition to student benefits, the RAND corporation shows this may improve economic benefits from ten years of improved academic performance.
  • While the science is not disputed, opponents of late start times say that changing school start times may impact affordable transportation, schedules of working families, and other administrative logistics. Additional criticisms include the belief that teens will get the same amount of sleep under new policies by staying awake later. However, a study of Seattle secondary schools with later start times demonstrated increased sleep for participating teens and yielded positive impacts for economically disadvantaged families.
  • HCR 3 is non-binding, allowing schools to make decisions and address any concerns about later start times on a local school district level, along with other options that are considered to benefit student rest like a shortened week, which is currently being practiced in some rural Utah schools.

Be sure to write your brief email in the box on the right BEFORE clicking send. Thank you for taking action!

Write Your Letter Here

CHECKLIST FOR YOUR LETTER – How to make sure your letter is successful:

  1. Use a clear and specific subject heading.
  2. Start with a salutation (“Dear …”).
  3. Be CIVIL, PERSONAL and as CONCISE as possible.
  4. Mention that you are a CONSTITUENT and include your full address with zip code.
  5. Sign your name at the end.

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