MUSCOGEE COUNTY, Ga. (WRBL) – A vote at Monday’s Muscogee County School Board meeting will have a lasting impact on students, teachers, and parents. The board approved new school start time that will be implemented across the district starting Fall 2023.

The decision came down to the transportation impacts for students across the district.

It was a torn board on whether or not to implement the new start times. Some say there should have been more surveys before the decision.

“We could’ve sent out a survey when we first started doing this, saying if we change the times will you be riding the bus or riding in a car. Then we would have a snapshot of our actual students in school today, then we could address it and see how to fix it for next year. All these students we are talking about this year, it is going to change … we are comparing apples to oranges.”

Nickie Tillery – School Board Representative, District 2

Others say the benefits for thousands of students outweigh any downsides.

“The biggest thing: buses, children, getting on the bus, being late on the bus. I have heard more of that over the last 12 years then probably anything else.”

Mark Cantrell – School Board Representative, District 6

The largest impact the change will have benefits those who ride the bus. Prior to the change, over 1,800 students arrive to school at least 15 minutes after classes start and over 600 students who are picked up from their homes before 6 a.m.

“Now we have a chance to fix this problem, probably the first time we’ve had the chance in 12 years to fix this problem. Let’s fix this problem and give it a try. Let’s make sure these students are at school on time and let’s make sure these students aren’t on the bus all dog gone day.”

Mark Cantrell – School Board Representative, District 6

The vote passed 6-2. The change will take affect in the Fall 2023.

See the approved time changes below.