ORANGE COUNTY The Orange County School Board held a work session on Thursday, Feb. 16 to further discuss the possibility of changing high school start times.
In November, the board sent out a survey on the issue to thousands of parents, teachers and students to determine how they felt about the proposed idea. After reviewing the initial results of the survey during a work session in January, the board requested more detailed information be compiled.
Their list of inquiries included:
- How do the results for high school parents overall differ from the results for high school
- parents that also have students in elementary and/or middle school?
- How do the results for all administrators differ from the results of only high school
- How do the results for all teachers differ from the results of only high school teachers?
- How do the results differ for regions?
- How do the results differ on responses for business owners and managers?
- How do the results differ based on the socioeconomic status of the respondents?
During the Thursday’s work session, the board reviewed and discussed the results.
Data showed that initially most high school parent generally approved of implementing a later start time. However, high school administrators and teachers appeared to be divided on the issue with some supporting a later start time and others advocating to keep the current start time.
Responses across all regions of Orange County were relatively the same with most people in support of a later start time. In addition, both the majority of business owners and people associated schools offering supplemental educational services were in favor of the change.
However, many people who took the survey changed their initial answers of support to opposition after learning the cost that changing high school start times would incur.
The district reported that its annual operating budget is approximately $2 billion per year. To implement a time change, the district would be required to purchase more school buses, which would cost nearly $8 million plus $5 million per year to maintain the expanded fleet.
By the end of the work session, the board decided that they will have to examine state budget information before any next steps can be made on the matter.
Contact Brittany Gaines at [email protected].