High school to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. by 2026
House Bill 733 establishes mandated start times for middle and high schools across the state of Florida. High schools must start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. and middle schools can start no earlier than 8 a.m.
The average high school in Florida currently starts at 7:30 a.m. and the average middle school starts at 9:30 a.m. HB 733 will provide a stark difference in the start times of both middle and high school. This was prompted by concerns of the effect of an early start time on the well-being of high schoolers, and more specifically, the sleep schedules of high schoolers. The law aims to allow students to sleep in later.
However, some students and staff are concerned about the effect the change in start times will have on after-school activities and extracurriculars. The earliest end time for high school under the new requirement would be 3:30 p.m.
“I don’t like the later start times because it messes with sports practices,” freshman Haasini Vattikuti said. “Practices already last 2-4 hours and having school end later would mean we go home even later and have less time to do school work.”
The law was signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on May 12 and will go into effect on July 1. However, school districts have until July 1, 2026, to ensure these requirements are met.