Seattle Public Schools to invest big money in start times study

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 2, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 2 at 10:39 PM

SEATTLE -- The Seattle Public School Board voted Wednesday night to move forward with research looking into the possibility of a later start time for high school students and an earlier start time for elementary school students. 

The school district may spend up to $500,000 looking at the possibility of a start time switch.

The board passed the motion 6-1, with board member Stephan Blanford being the only board member opposed to the investment. The board has been looking at changing the start times for two years and Wednesday’s vote will only extend the conversation.

The board will receive a report in September of 2015 and if approved the start times would not change until the 2016-2017 school year.

High school teacher Cynthia Jatul started pushing for a change when her daughter was in the sixth
grade. If the board keeps moving forward, her daughter would be in the 11th grade when the change takes effect. She completely supports the board’s ruling, but she does not think the research should be that expensive.

“What are we going to get for $500,000?” Jatul asked. “As a taxpayer I’d like to know what we are going to get for $500,000.”

Lesley Rogers with the Seattle Public Schools said their analysis will be very in depth. They will be looking at how a time switch would affect athletic programs, daycare providers and student employment opportunities.

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