MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Schools in the Merced Union High School District will be starting school later for the 2022-2023 school year.

The change comes after a bill was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom back in 2019 that affects the whole state of California.

Parents say any time change, even a half-hour later, is going to be tough for families that follow a tight schedule in the morning.

“For us, when we just have kids all over the place, it just further complicates matters,” said parent, Chad Rowan.

When you’re starting your morning in a rough way, it doesn’t really help the whole day be smooth,” added parent, Heather Murphy.

The first class at all Merced Union High school District sites will begin no sooner than 8:30 in the morning.

For middle schools in the district, classes will now start at 8:00 a.m. come this fall.

“We’re trying to get the word out ahead of time to give the public, families a lot of time to you know adjust,” explained Sam Yniguez with the Merced Union High School District.

The change comes in light of a bill signed into law by Governor Newsom back in 2019.

“I think the biggest challenge will be for parents that need to get to work, making sure their kids are at school on time,” explained Rowan.

School officials say studies show the time change will help students sleep longer and perform better in class.

Murphy says the change also pushes back other things in the school day, like lunch.

“When nutrition is important to have a good day in your school and you’re not eating until one o’clock, it just makes it really hard to concentrate in the rest of your classes,” Murphy said.

The new bell schedules for each school were approved by the board of trustees back in April.

“We did try to mitigate that by looking into the rural exemption, however, we did not qualify and so we have no other recourse,” said Yniguez.

Only time will tell if the new start time works for students and parents.