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Do you think the state should mandate later start times for high schools?

A bill introduced in the Legislature would mandate an 8:30 a.m. start time for all high schools, even as some schools are already deciding to shift to slighter later starts.

State Sen. Mattie Daughtry, D-Brunswick, who introduced the proposal, also said she would be willing to compromise if the end result is that more schools shift to a later start time. One compromise could be a mandated time of 8 a.m. and a recommended start time of 8:30 a.m., or perhaps waivers for certain schools that can demonstrate logistical hardships, such as those related to after-school sports and extra-curricular activities.

Public health experts agree that starting school before 8:30 a.m. is too early for high school students, but many high schools in Maine start between 7 and 8 a.m. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend an 8:30 a.m. start time.

But what do you think? Do you think the state should mandate later start times for high schools? Tell us in the poll and in the comments below.

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