FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Speaker’s proposal would change school start times to combat sleep loss in adolescents. …
TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FCAAP) commends Florida House Speaker Paul Renner for his commitment to prioritize children’s health and well-being through his child-friendly plan to change school start times to combat sleep loss. Speaker Renner announced his intentions during his opening-day speech for Florida’s 60-day legislative session. This proposal aligns with FCAAP’s mission to promote the health and welfare of Florida’s children.
“Speaker Renner’s dedication to improving the lives of children and adolescents in Florida through his proposal on school start times is praiseworthy,” said FCAAP President Thresia Gambon, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP. “By recognizing the critical importance of sufficient sleep for academic success, health, and safety, he is taking significant steps towards improving the lives of our children and adolescents. We are eager to work with Speaker Renner and other lawmakers to promote policies that serve the best interests of youth.”
FCAAP recognizes earlier school start times as a key modifiable contributor to insufficient sleep and circadian rhythm disruption in adolescents. Delaying school start times has been shown to be an effective countermeasure to chronic sleep loss. FCAAP supports efforts to optimize sleep in students.
The Florida legislature is considering two new bills related to school start times. The bills, HB 733 and SB 1112, would require middle schools to begin no earlier than 8 a.m. and high schools to begin no earlier than 8:30 a.m. as of July 1, 2026. The House Choice & Innovation Subcommittee is scheduled to hear HB 733 tomorrow at 8 a.m. FCAAP supports both bills, citing American Academy of Pediatrics research that shows later school start times improve student mental and physical health, academic performance, and reduce absenteeism.
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Through its more than 2,600 members, the Florida Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics promotes the health and welfare of Florida’s children and supports pediatricians and pediatric specialists as the best qualified providers of their health care.
For more information:
Scott VanDeman, Communications Coordinator
Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
850-224-3939, ext. 1005