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California Bill Aiming To Change Bar-Closing Time To 4 AM Faces Criticism In San Diego

August 23, 2017 1:53 p.m.

San Diego opponents of legislation that would allow cities around the state to extend the closing time for bars to 4 a.m., from the current 2 a.m., said Tuesday the bill would create problems that would spread into the community.

Related Story: California Bill Aiming To Change Bar-Closing Time To 4 AM Faces Criticism In San Diego


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

One of the many bills considered by the California legislature in the last weeks of this week's session is a bill high school student would let. SB 328 would prohibit middle and high schools from starting classes earlier than a deck 30 in a morning. The sponsor says schools that have later start times, students do better. The critics of the bill say because of the cost and inconvenience involve, decisions like that should be left up -- up to local school districts. Joining me is the sponsor of Senate Bill, a Democrat from La Canada Flindridge in Los Angeles county. Welcome.You said the need is based in science. What does science tell us about how teenagers can benefit from this change ?There are two pieces. There is the sleep research and the brain chemistry of teenagers which is different from any other segment of population. Teenagers require 10 hours of sleep per night and on average they get 4.5 to I dig. The way they secrete melatonin prevents them from falling asleep before 11:00. That is what the pediatrics Academy looked at over the last 20 years. They came out with the recommendation in 2014 to start school based on what is appropriate for the health of teenagers. The American Academy of pediatrics said school start time for teenagers should be no earlier than eight deck 30.There would be some exceptions. Is that right?The way the law works, if charter schools are not specifically included, even though the bill says all, there are 6 million kids in public school and we are trying to do what is in the best interest of the students. Many charter schools have nontraditional starts and other issues in place. We are trying to work that peace out. What we have is a concrete demonstrated science-based fact-based, backed up by results driven things that we should do this.Changing start times to eight deck 30 could be tough on working parents. How do you handle that ?I am glad you brought it up because that is one of those red herrings. It assumes that there is an optimum start time for every working parent which there is not. You will inconvenience some working parent. It is a sensitive conversation. Here is the other piece. What the research and the data from the school districts where there is a predominance of working parents, we see those children of working families are the most sleep deprived children because the family situation is the most complex. They see the most remarkable benefit from the extra hours. It is counterintuitive that there is a logistical challenge that might be in play in some families, we see that the students get the biggest benefit from the extra hour.The teachers union is against this bill. Here is what Lindsay burning him had to say.Sacramento does not know the local needs of our school district, our schools and the parents and our community. We have not said we are against later start times but we need to ensure that it is done anyway that meets the needs of the district and the students. A second impact is that changing start times, especially in a district our size can have a huge financial impact. We have learned that SB 328 will not have financial support provided in a have to change bus routes, hire new bus drivers, purchasing additional buses because having school start at that same time may not fit within the bus schedules.How would you respond to some of that criticism ?As far as being detrimental to the locals, I agree. That is why you have 2.5 years to implement this. We are being respectful I saying setting a standard but then saying you have the ability to meet this standard over the next 2.5 years. The bus purchases, there is no evidence that that is a factual statement or effectual criticism. There is no evidence to show that it increases the transportation modes. What they do is during the implementation cycle, they use the flexibility in the bill to flip the schedule where they might take the little kids earlier and now they take the big currentKids earlier. Of the 400 school districts that moved, none have back. Finally, the last piece, the teachers in the schools that have the later start see less disruptive behavior and better performing students and embrace it significantly.Have you talked to Governor Brown about this bill on whether he would support it ?I just left his office. I am meeting with two of his people before this interview. We gave them lots of information. We are waiting for feedback but we are having daily conversations with everybody involved. I am passionate about this. You know, people walk in skeptical and walked in, hell no but when they look at the researchers and he saw the data and they said hell llama -- hell yes. The benefits are across the board. Government leadership, if you can affect one life, we should do it. If I can prevent one teenager from committing suicide because I am doing what is the best interest of their health. We should do that. We as students who are not performing to the their potential because they are sleep deprived. Shame on us. If we want to be competitive, we should do what the world is doing and follow the science on the sleep patterns of teenagers. Let's do it.I have been speaking with Anthony Portantino. He is from La Canada Flindridge. Thank you .Thank you.