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State Senate committee considers later school start time for students

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SEATTLE (AP) — A state Senate committee on Tuesday discussed a bill proposed by students from Snohomish County that would move the start time for public schools one hour later next year.

The Senate Education Committee also talked about cursive writing and more money for career and technical education supplies. And the committee passed a measure that would give student journalists more editorial freedom.

Testimony on the start time proposal ,known as the “Sandman Act”, included information from the granddaughter of the bill’s co-sponsor, Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell.

Olivia McAuliffe and two other students from Snohomish High School shared the current research on teen sleep deprivation. They said learning will improve, while tardiness and student car accidents will go down if schools start later.

Sen. Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup, expressed concern about taking this decision out of the hands of local school boards.

Some Washington districts like Seattle and Mercer Island have already decided to change start times.