A new study indicates that earlier school times may be bad for kids, and letting children sleep could save billions of dollars each year.
As kids head off to their first day of school around the country, a new study claims that they may be getting up far too early. In fact, starting school no earlier than 8:30 a.m. could result in savings of $8.6 billion per year in the United States, according to the Rand Corporation report.
Researchers say the benefits of starting school at 8:30 a.m. or later would be felt in just a few years, and it could save $83 billion over a decade. It would also make adolescents healthier, and do so in a cost-effective manner, despite concerns that changing school start times would result in lost money and increased costs from rescheduling bus routes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees with this conclusion. “Not getting enough sleep is common among high school students and is associated with several health risks including being overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, and using drugs, as well as poor academic performance,” the CDC says.