UPDATE: This story has been edited to clarify the many steps involved in the approval process before the possible new school start times would go into effect for Clark County schools.
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – The Nevada State Board of Education voted to change the language in the draft regulation that could change start times for high schools at its meeting on Wednesday afternoon.
The change could mean students could walk the halls no earlier than 8 a.m. as soon as the start of the 2025 – 2026 school year.
It was a fiery public comment period with district officials against the change. The state board vice president said they received favorable comments.
After school, some students told 8 News Now they were in favor of more sleep, while some parents voiced their concerns about getting to work on time.
Angel Burklow said her 9th grader at Bonanza High School would probably enjoy more sleep, but the change could “mess up the rest of our schedule.” She also added that they live too close for bussing, and is concerned about a later walk to class.
“She would have to cross major streets, and I’m not excited about that at all,” Burklow said.
CCSD police said 30 kids were hit by a car walking to and from campus this school year. Lieutenant Bryan Zink also voiced concerns about student safety.
“A potential adjustment of start time potentially has more kids walking closer to dusk and could potentially increase incidents on roadways,” Zink said.
The state board had previously looked at changing start times for all schools. There are currently 83 Clark County schools that start before 8 a.m.
Bonanza High School freshman ZaKora Tatum is in favor of getting more sleep.
“It’s easier for me,” Tatum said. “Mental health, physical health. It just makes it better for me.”
But her mom, Latoya, is worried about getting to work on time.
“Either the student is going to be late, or I am going to be late.” She feels the school board needs to involve parents in the decision-making process.
At the state board meeting, some CCSD staff were concerned the change would impact other grades’ start times and access to breakfast.
“A change could be a detriment to the broader student populations, food insecure families, and the community at large,” CCSD Chief Operating Officer Mike Casey said.
CCSD’s general counsel repeated an earlier sentiment and said the state board is going beyond its authority and threatened legal action.
The board voted to send the new draft regulation language to the Legislative Council Bureau for consideration. One of the items the board voted to change in the language was the implementation year for the time change by moving it to the 2025-26 school year.
There are still steps the draft language would need to move through, including being discussed at a public hearing. It would then move to the Legislative Commission for review and possible approval before it becomes law.