The more than three million middle- and high-school students in California now abide by a hodgepodge of start times across communities. The average is 8:07 a.m.
The California School Boards Association, which represents thousands of school board members, has opposed Mr. Portantino’s measure as too rigid for a population so large and diverse.
Republican lawmakers have also resisted the change during debates in the State Senate, where the bill advanced along party lines in May. It’s moving now through the Assembly.
State Senator Jim Nielsen, a Republican from Tehama County, said later start times would cause “tremendous upheaval” for many parents who drop their children off before work.
“I just don’t see it being worth the disruption of the lives of our children and of the parents, particularly, to try to manage those children,” he said.
A pair of adolescent sleep researchers at U.C. Davis, Ian G. Campbell and Irwin Feinberg, has expressed concern that promoters of the later school start movement are overselling it as a panacea for young people’s problems.
Dr. Campbell cited a study that pointed to a simpler and potentially more powerful remedy for flagging sleep among teenagers (not to mention adults).
Researchers found that exposure to artificial light was shifting people’s circadian cycles.
If you want your teenagers to get better sleep, Dr. Campbell said, a good place to start would be making them turn off their phones and tablets at night.
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• Officials said premiums for health plans sold on California’s Obamacare exchange would jump by double digit percentages for the second straight year. [The Associated Press]
• Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has raised more money for his bid for governor than his three top Democratic rivals combined. [Los Angeles Times]
• Libby Schaaf, Oakland’s mayor, may not always sound sincere. But she’s almost certainly being authentic when she delivers speeches about civic pride. [The California Sunday Magazine]
• Threats and racist taunts directed at California lawmakers have become more frequent this year. [Sacramento Bee]
• A 5-year-old boy’s disappearance after a trip to Disneyland led to a frantic search that dragged on for months. On Tuesday, his father pleaded guilty to murder. [Los Angeles Times]
• A video showed a Tijuana teenager drinking a lethal dose of liquid methamphetamine while being questioned at the border. The case is “a black mark” for the U.S. customs agency. [Opinion | San Diego Union-Tribune]
• That epic mudslide that reshaped the Big Sur coast? Officials now say they’ll build a new road on top of it. [The Tribune]
• “Sam Shepard had something in short supply in this time of public figures crying out for likes. And that something was coolness.” [The New York Times]
• Instagram has become a go-to forum for dancers recording themselves. But Marlee Grace, of Oakland, has managed to stand out. [The New York Times]
• Allen Ginsberg once taught at San Francisco State University. He asked his students to forget their preconceptions of what a poem or a story should be. [The New York Times]
• An upcoming exhibit by Yayoi Kusama in Los Angeles transports visitors into a land of polka dots and mirrors. [LA Weekly]
And Finally …
Reports last month of a new official state symbol raised some eyebrows. According to the declaration signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the state nut would henceforth be the almond, walnut, pistachio and pecan.
Aside from the numerical confusion of one thing being four things, The Los Angeles Times noted that the nuts weren’t even true nuts.
“Botanically speaking,” the newspaper said, “the nuts are technically seeds of drupe fruits.”
Nevertheless, they have joined a growing roster of official state symbols.
Some, even if you didn’t know them, you might be able guess. The state motto? Eureka. Tree? The California redwood. Animal? The California grizzly bear.
Here are a few others that you may not have heard about:
The state Gold Rush ghost town: Bodie. Located in Mono County’s high desert, Bodie is frozen in time, preserved largely as it was when the last residents left in the 1950s.
The state theater: Pasadena Playhouse. The Spanish Colonial Revival theater has a glamorous history as a crucible for stars like Eve Arden, Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman.
The state dance: West Coast Swing. The sultrier version of the East Coast’s Lindy Hop originated in California in the 1930s.
The state fossil: saber-toothed cat. The predators stalked California’s grasslands some 12,000 years ago. Their fossils have been found in the La Brea Tar Pits.
The state fabric: denim. The working man’s fabric was used in the bluejeans popularized by one of California’s first entrepreneurs, Levi Strauss.
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California Today goes live at 6 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com.
The California Today columnist, Mike McPhate, is a third-generation Californian — born outside Sacramento and raised in San Juan Capistrano. He lives in Los Osos. Follow him on Twitter.
California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.
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