At what time of the day does school start for your kids? It’s safe to assume that most students, parents, and teachers in the United States would agree that school might start just a little bit too early. Across the country, the average school start time in the U.S. is 8:03 AM. The CDC-recommended start time for schools in the United States is 8:30 AM, but today, 75% to 100% of public schools across 42 U.S. states start prior to that time.
So, which state has the earliest start times for school? The research team at AAA State of Play set out to find out with this new infographic. According to their research, it was found that the earliest start time for elementary school was 7:40 AM in Mississippi, and then Louisiana had the earliest start times for both middle school and high school, at 7:37 AM and 7:30 AM respectively. For elementary schools in the United States, the five states with the earliest start times were Mississippi at 7:40 AM, South Carolina at 7:44 AM, Alabama at 7:49 AM, Hawaii at 7:53 AM, and Texas at 7:56 AM. Of these five states, Alabama was the only one to appear on another top five ranking, as Alabama has the 5th earliest average start time in middle school, clocking in at 7:49 AM.
According to a study that was conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, it was determined that 59% of middle school students get less than the recommended amount of sleep daily on school nights. With middle school, the earliest start time was found to be in Louisiana at 7:37 AM, closely followed by Delaware (7:40 AM), Mississippi (7:44 AM), Maine (7:46 AM), and Alabama (7:49 AM). The five states that saw the earliest start times for high school included Louisiana at 7:30 AM, Connecticut at 7:39 AM, Massachusetts at 7:38 AM, New Hampshire at 7:41 AM, and Nevada at 7:45 AM.