Later Osceola school start times could cost millions


OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - A Florida lawmaker wants high school students to catch more z's.

Osceola County is exploring the idea of not starting high school before 8 a.m.

High school students start school at 7:15 a.m.

The alarms sound different, the wake-up times are slightly different but for Osceola County high school students Eyewitness News spoke with, the thought of a pre-dawn wake up for school is exactly the same.

"How much do you dread hearing that?" asked Channel 9's Greg Warmoth.

"A lot. It's horrible. Awful," said student Avaris Mejia.

Gateway High School students weren't afraid to chime in on their early morning wake-up chimes.

"Honestly, yesterday I woke up with six minutes to get dressed. It was horrible because you wake up sometimes after staying up late doing homework. It's horrible," 11th-grader Mariam Roque said.

Osceola County School Board Chairman Jay Wheeler agrees.

"Teens are wired to stay up late and start later, no doubt. But it all comes down to dollars and cents," Wheeler said.

Legislators will decide on changing school start times this spring.

Wheeler said he is all for it, as long as Osceola County doesn't have to pay for it -- a cost he said would be in the dozens of millions.

Mejia hopes they find the funding.

"Is there anything good about getting up early?" Warmoth asked.

"No," Mejia said.

Channel 9 did not hear back from state Rep. Matt Gaetz's office Wednesday.

The legislative session starts in March.