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TO CREATE THE "PUBLIC SCHOOL START TIME STUDY COMMITTEE" TO DETERMINE THE BENEFITS OF REQUIRING PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO EXTEND CURRENT DAILY START TIMES BY ONE HOUR, AND TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY REGARDING PROPOSED CHANGES TO STATE LAWS NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT SUCH LATER START TIMES FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
Whereas, the General Assembly finds insufficient sleep in children has been shown to be associated with a wide variety of adverse outcomes, from poor mental and physical health, to behavioral problems and lower academic grades; and
Whereas, the General Assembly finds delaying school start time may increase weeknight sleep duration among adolescents, primarily by delaying rise times, which in turn may result in improved attendance, less tardiness, less falling asleep in class, better grades, and, for students who drive, fewer motor vehicle crashes. Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. (A) There is created the "Public School Start Time Study Committee" to determine whether minimum public school start times should be established at such times as to provide students with opportunities for moderately increased durations of weeknight sleep with the goal of improving student outcomes including mental health, physical health, behavior problems, and academic performance.
(B) The study committee must review current public school start times, including charter schools, and take into consideration relevant data and statistics as part of the review process with the focus on the potential benefits and drawbacks of effectively delaying public school start times by one hour beyond their present times. The study committee also should consider the benefits of a pilot program for such delayed start times.
(C) The study committee must be composed of three members of the Senate, appointed by the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, and three members of the House of Representatives, appointed by the Chairman of the House Education and Public Works Committee. Vacancies in the study committee's membership must be filled in the manner of original appointment.
(D) The Senate Education Committee and the House Education and Public Works Committee shall provide appropriate staffing for the study committee.
(E) The study committee shall provide a report with recommendations to the General Assembly no later than two months after the effective date of this act, at which time the study committee is dissolved..
SECTION 2. This joint resolution takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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