Q&A – The Sunshine Protection Act’s Impact On Schools

Today’s entry - I was very disappointed to hear you promote the Sunshine Protection Act. Supporters of this bill fail to mention how it will affect the morning hours but merely state we will enjoy one more hours of sunlight in the afternoon. 

I do agree that most people think changing our clocks twice a year is ridiculous, but if we are to stay on one time, year-round, it should be Standard time, not Daylight Saving Time. Most Floridians probably don’t understand the ramifications this change will make because it is promoted as adding an additional hour of sunshine during the winter months. In addition to Florida being one hour ahead of everyone else in the Eastern time zone, two in the Central time, three in the Mountain and four hours ahead of the Pacific time zone for five months, we will also be experiencing sunrises near or after 8:00 AM during this time frame. Not only will children be walking to school and waiting for school buses in darkness, the majority of the populace will be waking up, getting ready and commuting to work in the dark. 

Please reconsider your position and push for Florida and the rest of the United States to abolish Daylight Saving Time and go back to Standard Time year-round.

Bottom Line: We’ve recently discussed every angle of the time change debate except for the debate over school-aged children. When Florida’s Sunshine Protection Act was making its way through the state legislature in 2017, the loudest argument against it was this one. Grade school children having to walk to bus stops and wait in the dark more often. I understand the argument, I just don’t think it’s compelling enough to overcome the positives from Florida staying in Daylight Saving Time. 

Just under 13% of Florida’s population is enrolled in public education. Making a policy that negatively impacts at least 87% of the state’s population for the perceived benefit of 13% of the population isn’t generally wise. Anytime we’re talking about school children, it can quickly become an emotional plea, which is largely why more progress hasn’t been made in Congress since Florida’s passage of the law in 2017. What I’d say is that if waiting in the dark is a concern at any time of year for parents, create a plan to address it. For example, can you or a group of parents take turns waiting at the stop for kids? Would taking them to the school directly during those times be appropriate? I understand it might not be as convenient for some parents, but then again good parenting isn’t about convenience. As for all the arguments, they’ve been studied, and the results are conclusive in favor of Florida staying in Daylight Saving Time. 

Research shows an increase in accidents when we exit Daylight Saving Time and when we reenter it, however, accident rates are higher outside of Daylight-Saving time. Furthermore, Floridians are more active during Daylight Saving Time and Florida’s economy performs best during Daylight Saving Time too. This issue is like any other I evaluate. I establish the facts and go where they take me. It’s also why Florida passed it into law in 2017 and why our Senators are both pushing for help in Congress to get this through. 

Submit your questions by using one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

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Photo by: Getty Image

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