The Parent Herald reports that New Jersey Department of Education officials have completed a series of hearings to discuss if schools in the district should implement a later start time.

The three public forums came after the department agreed to consider the proposal last year.

The low attendance at the forum shows there is not a lot of opposition to the proposal, according to State Sen. Richard Codey (D), who spearheaded the effort. For example, only three people showed up in the first public forum.

Codey became interested in the proposal after the American Academy of Pediatric recommended that classes should not start before 8:30 a.m. Nearly 85 percent of schools based in New Jersey start classes earlier than the recommended time.

In more than 40 states, nearly 75 percent of publish schools start earlier than the recommended time. Only 17.7 percent of middle and high schools in the country follow the recommendation of the academy, according to the Huffington Post.

Residents of the state can go to the Department of Education website to express their comments on the issue until May 20. By then, the department will be deciding whether to authorize pilot programs that would require middle and highs schools to start at a later time.

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