"I think they have a very compelling argument," said Del. Ronald George, an Anne Arundel County Democrat. He said he does not think it is worth pursuing legislation this year, but encouraged the Start School Later group to begin making their case to individual state legislators who he believes could be convinced. "I believe it wholeheartedly," he said.
Bob Mosier, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel school system, said the changes would be difficult to make.
"The issue of changing school start times is a complex one with no easy answers," he said. "In a county such as ours where contracted buses make multiple runs and where magnet school buses traverse large areas of our county, moving the start of one school level is problematic and comes with considerable cost."
One solution that has been considered by school systems in discussions over the years is to flip elementary and high school start times. But while younger children naturally wake up earlier than teenagers, parents do not want them standing at bus stops in the dark.
Solon Snider, the Severna Park student, says he sleeps an average of four to five hours a night during the week because he, like Jones, is often at school late for activities and then has homework. He says that even when he tries to go to sleep before 11 p.m., he can't.
"None of us are actually fully awake until 9 a.m.," said Jennifer Schultz, a student at Annapolis High School. "So our brains don't really start retaining much until then."
Baltimore Sun reporter Joe Burris contributed to this article.
High school start times
Anne Arundel: 7:17 a.m.
Baltimore City: 7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Baltimore County: 7:30 a.m. to 7:50 a.m.
Carroll County: 7:35 a.m. to 7:45 a.m.
Harford County: 7:30 a.m.
Howard County: 7:25 a.m.