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Gov. Newsom signs school start time bill – law becomes effective for 2022-23 school year

In Sunday’s final hours before his deadline to sign or veto 2019 legislation, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 328 (Portantino), a bill mandating that all non-rural middle schools and high schools (including charter schools) may not begin the regular school day before 8 a.m. or 8:30 a.m., respectively. 

Important points about SB 328:

  • The bill becomes effective on July 1, 2022, making the 2022-23 school year the first year that districts will need to comply with the later start times.
  • If a district has a collective bargaining agreement operative as of January 1, 2020 that expires after July 1, 2022, districts must comply with the later start time upon expiration of that agreement.
  • Districts will still be permitted to offer a “zero period” that may start before 8 a.m. or 8:30 a.m., as long as that zero period does not “generate average daily attendance for purposes of computing any apportionments of state funding."
  • The bill does not apply to rural school districts – however, SB 328 does not provide a definition of “rural.”

What comes next:

  • For purposes of school district compliance with this mandate, CSBA is seeking a clear definition of “rural school districts.”
  • CSBA will issue updated legal guidance for school districts (both rural and non-rural) to assist in compliance with SB 328.
  • CSBA will provide a checklist of factors to consider in preparation to move to later start times.
  • CSBA encourages school districts to immediately:
  1. Begin budgetary, staffing and logistical preparations for moving to a later start beginning with the 2022-23 school year.
  2. Begin tracking and recording estimated cost implications of SB 328 and reporting those back to CSBA where possible.

CSBA’s “What’s New for 2020” report detailing all newly-signed 2019 bills will be released this week. Wednesday’s weekly “California School News Weekly Update” will also include a rundown of key bills vetoed by Gov. Newsom. 

Questions? Email Aaron Davis with Governmental Relations