Ask Senate Rules to move HCR 3 to a committee vote to encourage late start times for high school!

2020-02-13T14:05:29-07:00February 13th, 2020|2020 Legislative Session, URGENT Action|0 Comments

Ask the Senate Rules Committee to allow a committee vote on HCR 3 Concurrent Resolution Encouraging Consideration of a Later Start Time for High School!

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. HCR 3 encourages school districts, and school community councils across Utah to discuss and adopt later start times for high school students to support improved academic, social, emotional, and health outcomes.
Right now, HCR 3 is sitting in the Senate Rules Committee, waiting to be assigned to a standing committee so senators can vote on it.

Simply scroll down and click “Start Writing” to send the members of the Senate Rules Committee a quick note.

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.

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

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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