With the support of Mayor De Blasio, New York City public schools will add two Muslim holidays to its calendar. Also being added is the Lunar New Year, which historically sees massive absences by Asian students, who comprise one-sixth of public school enrollment.
Though Mayor Bloomberg was adamant that the public school calendar remain the way it is, De Blasio has previously voiced support for giving kids the day off on the Lunar New Year, as well as on Muslim holy days Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The State Assembly backed him up in a vote. “New York City is truly a melting pot of different religions and cultures and its citizens should be allowed to embrace and celebrate their holidays,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said in a statement. “Last week, many of my neighbors and community members celebrated Lunar New Year and were left with the choice of spending the holiday with family or attending school. This legislation would allow the city to give these students the option to fully celebrate their holiday without worrying about being marked absent from school, missing a test or falling behind on their homework.”
Still under debate is adding the Hindu holiday of Diwali.