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Education Secretary says school should start later

By Kyle Benjamin, kbenjamin@wcyb.com
Published On: Sep 05 2013 08:18:19 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 05 2013 06:00:00 PM CDT

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan would like to see high school start later in the day.

BRISTOL, Va. -

The Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute of Health and the National Sleep Foundation all say high school students could use more sleep.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan agreed, saying studies show students perform better and are more alert when rested.

But Duncan does not want to issue a blanket mandate for school districts around the country, and Bristol, Virgina superintendent Dr. Mark Lineburg said there would be some challenges to pushing back the school start time.

"If you push the start time back til 9 o'clock and you don't start your extra-curriculars until later in the day, it impacts what time the kid goes to bed at night, or when you play ball games, or have band practice or any number of things," said Lineburg.

Virgina High senior Liz Graham deals with the challenges of a busy schedule every day.

"Homework is an issue," said Graham. "You get home from a job or a sport and you sit down and have to do your homework. you're home late. you stay up late and you have to wake up early the next morning. It's hard."

Bristol, Virgina and other schools systems are not currently looking to make changes to the daily schedule right now, but Dr. Lineburg says they may be open to having a discussion.

"We really haven't had a community that's brought it to us. We try to be really in-tuned with our community. "If there were community folks who said it's time, then we would try to be in tuned with them as well."