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Waking up teens too early is over for 5 N.J. high schools. The law says so.

Adam Clark | August 9, 2019 | NJ Advance Media |


Some New Jersey high school students will soon be able to sleep in on school days with the best possible defense: It would be illegal to start school any earlier.

Gov. Phil Muphy on Friday signed a law that requires the state to experiment with starting high school after 8:30 a.m. in five yet-to-be-determined schools.

The change comes after years of advocates pushing for later high school start times because of research showing major health benefits for teenagers. Schools must voluntarily apply to the state Department of Education to be considered for the four-year trial (it’s unclear how soon it would begin).

“Adolescents are not getting enough sleep to live up to their full academic potential, and early school start times are to blame,” said Senator Richard Codey, D-Essex, who championed the proposal. “This isn’t just an idea, research backs up this problem.”


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