California Lawmaker Introduces Bill Banning Excessive Homework: ‘Homework Is Exhausting’

Getty Images/Carol Yepes

A lawmaker in California introduced a bill that would ban teachers from being able to assign students an excessive amount of homework.

California State Assembly member Pilar Schiavo (D) introduced The Healthy Homework Act, also known as AB 2999, in February, noting in an interview with Fox40 that it would have a “huge impact” on the students.

Under AB 2999, educational agencies, local school board officials, and school administration officials would need to “develop, adopt, and update” homework policies “at least once every five years,” and take into account research available regarding the impacts of homework on students’ physical and mental health.

Educational agencies, school board, and school administration officials would also need to take into account the reasonable amount of time that students should spend on homework and take into account learning disabilities and how some students might lack “access to the internet, computers, and learning tools.”

“I think this is going to make a huge impact for the students,” Schiavo said. “The times have changed and our homework policies don’t always change with the times, so we need to make sure we are addressing issues that are effective and also don’t harm kids.”

Schiavo’s daughter, Sofia Johnson, who is in sixth grade, told the outlet that “homework is exhausting” and “overwhelming.”

“It’s depressing that my whole day — from when I wake up to when I go to bed — is nearly all taken up with schoolwork,” Johnson added.

While homework can be good, “there is a limit to how much kids can benefit from home study,” said Harris Cooper, a Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University, according to the American Psychological Association.

Cooper added that he agreed with the rule of thumb that students should be doing no more than 10 minutes of homework for each grade.

However, one of the downfalls of homework can also be associated with the lack of resources available to students at home.

The American Psychological Association wrote:

Yet homework can be a problem at the other end of the socioeconomic spectrum as well. Kids from wealthier homes are more likely to have resources such as computers, Internet connections, dedicated areas to do schoolwork and parents who tend to be more educated and more available to help them with tricky assignments. Kids from disadvantaged homes are more likely to work at afterschool jobs, or to be home without supervision in the evenings while their parents work multiple jobs, says Lea Theodore, PhD, a professor of school psychology at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. They are less likely to have computers or quiet place to do homework in peace.

Schiavo’s bill comes after Standford University and Challenge Success, an organization that “partners with school communities to elevate student voice and implement research-based, equity-centered strategies that improve student well-being,” reportedly conducted a survey of more than 300,000 students.

The survey found that 45 percent of students said homework was their number one source of stress.

“If it’s such a source of stress for kids, and we know taking stress off kids’ plates will make a difference in their mental health, this is something that can practically impact kids’ mental health overnight,” Schiavo told the outlet.

Breitbart News reached out to Challenge Success for a statement but did not receive a response by the time of publication.


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