Debate continues on school start times in Fairfax

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. – The debate continues regarding school start times in Fairfax County.

It’s the third time in the last 15 years the issue has been brought to the table, with later school starts rejected twice before.

This time, the Fairfax County School Board is considering using a consultant to study ways to change when classes begin.

Some parents want county high schools opened after 8 a.m. But school board Chairman Jane Strauss says even if the county could find the money for more buses, the decision is not so easy.

“Some people like what they would see as a better start time for their child or their family,” says Strauss. “But then, conversely, there are other people saying, ‘Oh no, I’m not willing to do this change.'”

Several members of the school board have promoted the later start as part of their campaigns, and a number of studies say teenagers learn better with a later start. But Strauss says the board may wait for a definitive study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It could be at least the 2013-2014 school year before any change takes place.

WTOP’s Hank Silverberg contributed to this report. Follow Hank and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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