Later Public School Start Times


Reference to a current Michigan bill or law that relates in some way to your proposal:


Why this proposal will make a difference in the lives of students of all ages across Michigan, or a significant subgroup (by age, background, economic status, and/or region, etc.) of students in Michigan:

Middle school and High school aged teenagers across the state should attend school at a later hour to improve academic performance and health.

How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal?

As high school students, we experience the problem. Adolescents are notorious for not getting enough sleep. The average amount of sleep that teenagers get is between 7 and 7 ¼ hours. However, they need between 9 and 9 ½ hours.

How has your service activity influenced your thinking about this proposal?

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:



Talk directly with at least 3 real live people who have special knowledge about this topic or the impact your proposal would have and summarize their comments. These may include people appearing in your media artifact (video, podcast, etc.).

CONSULTATION 1: Coach Anthony Kandt: Believes after school athletic events and practices will be unaffected for the most part from a later school start time. He questions the need for a later start time asking why students could not go to bed at an earlier time. However, he wants what is best for the health of his athletes and if studies show that teenagers need the later start times, then he is for starting school later.

CONSULTATION 2: Monika Hacker, mother and freshman teacher at Howell High School, said that she gets enough sleep at night and that it would not be a good idea to start school earlier because she has a second job and that she wouldn’t be able to work as much at her second job. She also thinks it’s not a good idea because it would affect sports. She used the example of marching band practicing once a week from 6:30-8:30 after football practice and she doesn’t see how it would be possible because of how late it gets out.

CONSULTATION 3: Hailey Allport, a student, said that she thinks that school starts too early and that she does not get enough sleep. She thinks that if we started school a little late in the day that students would perform better because they would be more mentally rested from the extra sleep. She also thinks that if we did start school later that sports would be affected positively because it would increase their performance and their concentration although people would have to stay later.



Describe the specific issue or problem, being sure to provide sufficient context so that someone less familiar with the issue has a sense of the bigger picture, but know that your focus here is on a more detailed spelling out of the specific problem or issue that you’ve identified. (250 words minimum)


Potential Solution:

Describe one reasonable, feasible potential solutions or approaches that would help address this problem.

SOLUTION:  Public high schools and middle schools will not be allowed to begin before 8:30 am. Elementary schools will begin as soon as the buses can run their routes after dropping off the high school and middle school students.


Reaction or advice from a Topic Coordinator:


You must solicit a critique from a topic coordinator, and explain the impact that advice has had on the final draft of this proposal.

Peri Mendelsohn did a fantastic job on critiquing the final draft of this proposal. She pushed us to go more in depth with our statements, which made them stronger. She also would comment on each section of this proposal and ask questions to get us to further think about our topic from different perspectives. Peri showed us where adding detail and sources could strengthen our argument and where we needed to elaborate on statements. With her assistance, our group was able to gain insight and create a more correct, more professional proposal.


Research process:

Describe your research process — indicate who you talked to (including but not limited to consultants), what you read, what your thinking was, how it changed over time, and how your consultants changed your thinking. This description of your research process definitely could include “dead ends,” or ideas you had that didn’t ultimately bear fruit.  In short, we want to know what you did and how it led to your legislation, and we also want you to give us a window into your thought process.

Our initial idea was to have only middle and high schools start later than 8:30. That idea shifted back and forth over time, especially when facing the biggest question, what do we do with the elementary schools? When will they start? We started looking up statistics on teens and the effects of sleep/lack of sleep, reasons why teens slept differently and we researched possible solutions. Then we interviewed teachers, peers, and coaches to get their opinions on the problem and solution.

One issue we faced was that everyone had conflicting ideas on how to solve the problem. We also thought about starting schools all at the same time, elementary school, middle school, and high school. However, we ran into the issue of how much it would cost to buy additional buses and how much traffic would be produced in the process.

We interviewed three different people of three different backgrounds. Anthony Kandt (coach) thought that, if it benefited health, it would be a good idea to start later. A student said she thought it was a great idea and that we needed to start school later in the day. Monica Hacker (teacher) only saw issues with later start times and thought it would only be beneficial to start no later than 15 minutes later than we already do.

At the end, we all came together as a group and collectively decided what to do with the elementary students. We decided to push them back as well to avoid the cost of buying more buses for starting all grade levels simultaneously and to avoid the amount of traffic that would be produced from releasing all schools at the same time. Also, we believe sleep is beneficial for all ages and didn't want to cut back on the sleep children receive,


Author contributions:

Richard Pennala- Solution Research

Madi Kelbert and Racheal Washburn- Research team

Brianna Hall-  Research team

Orianna Miller and Chelsea Worthington-Problem Research

Danielle Smith: Group Coordinator



The sections below should comprise your final proposal language, submitted for consideration by your peers and potential inclusion in the MSC Platform.

Preambulatory clauses

These set up the PROBLEM, but not the solution.

WHEREAS....Tweens and teens are experiencing shifts in their natural sleep cycles making it hard for them to go to bed before 10:30 or 11:00 p.m.

WHEREAS....Lack of sleep in teens causes a rise in depression, risk-taking behaviors, absences, low grades, obesity and inability to concentrate.

WHEREAS….American Academy of Pediatrics includes more than 60,000 doctors who treat or study children. In 2014, the group recommended that middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

Operative clauses

These describe in detail, the solution you are proposing (not the problem itself; those should go in the "Whereas" clauses above).


1. Schools may not start before 8:30 on account of trying to raise the G.P.A., health, and attendance of all students.



What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?

1.Pushing back school start times might delay after school activities, leading to students getting home/to sleep later.

2. Teachers may want to attend school earlier so they have more time to spend in the afternoon.

3. Teens should go to bed earlier so they are not so tired instead of letting them sleep in.

Costs and funding:

What will your proposal cost (in direct expenses, lost tax revenue, lost economic opportunity, and/or non-monetary costs)? How will you pay for your proposed legislation? Where will/could the funding for your proposal come from?  Who might object to dedicating resources to your proposal (competing interests)?  





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Total votes: 65