Later School Bells Could Lead to Economic Growth for Ohio

Credit: Ryan Stanton/Flickr
Credit: Ryan Stanton/Flickr
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More than half of Ohio’s schools ring their first bell before 8 a.m., but a new study shows, if that time was pushed back, it could make a positive impact on the state’s economy.

Previous studies have shown when school starts later, students will see both an academic and health benefit from the extra sleep over the course of their academic careers, but the Rand Corporation—an international think tank-- found an economic benefits as well.

Shifting to an 8:30 a.m. school start time would result in an additional $435 million in economic output for Ohio in two years. In 10 years, that number grows to nearly $4 billion, according to the study.

Rand senior economist Marco Hafner said those numbers are based on student productivity when they enter the workforce.

“How much more is the probability of students graduating from college, graduating from high school and that subsequently has a positive effect on their future labor market earnings,” Hafner said.

Hafner said schools have generally dodged shifting times to avoid increased busing and infrastructure costs- like new lights for athletic fields, but Ohio’s economic growth would off-set the spending within a few years.

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