Study School Starting Time

More and more, we insist that government needs to solve all our problems and do it right now. State legislators sometimes cave in to such demands and, all too often, the result is ill-considered new rules.

There is general agreement among many experts in the health of children that too many schools start classes too early in the morning. That needs to change.

But in Ohio, state Sen. Sandra Williams, D-Cleveland, has introduced a bill that would ban public schools from starting before 8:30 a.m. No doubt some lawmakers will be tempted to go along with her.

One-size-fits-all rules for schools are part of the problem with public education, however. Sweeping mandates may be good for some students in some places, but may be detrimental to others.

Ohio legislators should be looking at the issue and hearing from parents, educators and child health experts on it. They should be asking about start-time ramifications such as school bus costs, effects on parents who work, too.

Lawmakers need to get answers to a variety of questions before acting on school start times. Williams is right, however: Public schools ought to regulate themselves according to what is best for the children.


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