We Did It!
Exciting news! Thanks to the efforts of Start School Later, the Maryland General Assembly has just passed the first bill in the nation to guide local school districts in ensuring safe, healthy school start times.
Your voice as a Start School Later
supporter was critical in the passage of this landmark legislation!
This bill (HB 883) marks the first statewide recognition that sleep and school hours are public health issues that local school districts have been unable to address on their own for over two decades. The bill received unanimous support from both the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates!
Under this legislation, Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will conduct a study by the end of 2014 on student sleep needs and ways in which school systems can shift school hours to accomodate them. The study will consult a variety of community stakeholders to recommend whether Maryland public schools should set 8 a.m. as the earliest opening hour for class.
Our work to ensure safe, healthy, equitable school hours is far from over in Maryland, or across the country, but we are on our way! Many thanks again to our Maryland supporters for all you've done to make this genuine victory possible.
The Fab Four
Even though Wilton, CT successfully changed to later high school start times in 2003, Greenwich and many other CT towns are still struggling with early school starts, proving again that leaving the decision solely up to local districts does not guarantee a change for the better.
Our Massachusetts and Pennsylvania chapters will have a statewide focus, with plans to push legislation recognizing school hours as a public health hazard and raising awareness among state health and education leaders.
The Shelby County chapter in Tennessee launched a petition
in their local school district and they have already received over 900 signatures in just under a month.
A week after the release of our March newsletter, a story on the #StartSchoolLater movement ran on the front page of the New York Times
(March 13th edition). This press has led to a doubling of visits to our website, more interviews and articles, such as the XM Sirius Broadcast featuring two of our New York chapter leaders, Jeffrey Rose of Rockland County and Susan LaMontagne of Long Island and many inquiries from concerned parents, high schoolers, health professionals and educators. Click here to see the most recent press about Start School Later, Inc.
The Great Give
Please mark your calendars on May 7-8, 2014 from 6am to 6pm, for The Great Give
. This is an online fundraising campaign designed to help local nonprofits continue to serve in their communities. As demand for our services continues to grow, we need to ensure we can meet the needs of our growing user base. In addition, if we get a lot of support during The Great Give, we have the chance to win additional cash awards. Mark your calendar or schedule a reminder now, because there is only one 24 hour period to donate to The Great Give
Thank you again for your support of Start School Later. With new legislation, new chapters, and more media attention we must press on to continue this great work, and we appreciate your part in it.