senate Bill S7002

Establishes the Diwali school holiday

download pdf

Sponsor

Co-Sponsors

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
view actions

actions

  • 11 / Apr / 2014
    • REFERRED TO EDUCATION

Summary

Establishes the Diwali school holiday in certain qualifying school districts to commemorate the Hindu festival of lights.

do you support this bill?

Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9565
Versions:
S7002
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Education
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Add §3204-a, amd §3604, Ed L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7002

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to
establishing the Diwali school holiday

PURPOSE:

To allow schools with a large number of celebrants of the festival of
Diwali to have an official school holiday.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 adds new section 3204-a to the Education Law, requiring
schools in a city with a population of one million or more inhabitants
and an Asian population of 7.5% to close schools for Lakshmi Puja, the
third day of the Hindu Festival of Lights (Diwali). If population
data for the percentage of South-Asian residents is available, cities
with more than 3% of such individuals would be necessary to close
schools. The Board of Education or Trustees shall determine which
schools will close for the holiday.

Section 2 adds new subdivision 7-c to section 3604 of the Education
Law, allowing the commissioner to count any such school holidays as a
school session day.

JUSTIFICATION:

New York is home to a wide variety of religions and ethnicities, each
with their own set of holidays and festivals. When such holidays and
festivals fall on school days, many teachers, and parents are required
to choose between a school absence or not celebrating important
cultural or religious observances. New York is home to many residents
of South-Asian descent. Lakshmi Puja is celebrated on the third day of
the five-day festival of Diwali and is considered the most significant
part of the festival. It is observed by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jainists.
Allowing such a school holiday demonstrates the importance of New
York's cultural diversity and the significance of its South-Asian
community. This recognition is already afforded to other ethnic and
religious groups in New York.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Minimal.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it
shall have become law; provided that any and all rules and regulations
and any other measures necessary to implement any provision of this
act on its effective date may be promulgated and taken, respectively,
on or before such effective date.


view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  7002

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 11, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Education

AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to establishing the Diwa-
  li school holiday

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 3204-a
to read as follows:
  S  3204-A.   HINDU FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS SCHOOL HOLIDAY. 1. THE FIFTEENTH
DAY OF THE HINDU LUNISOLAR MONTH OF KARTIK, KNOWN AS LAKSHMI PUJA, SHALL
BE A SCHOOL HOLIDAY FOR  ANY  OR  ALL  SCHOOLS  IN  A  QUALIFIED  SCHOOL
DISTRICT  WHERE  THE  BOARD  OF  EDUCATION  OR  TRUSTEES DETERMINES SUCH
SCHOOLS HAVE A SIGNIFICANT SOUTH-ASIAN POPULATION.
  2. A QUALIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, FOR PURPOSES OF  THIS  SECTION,  SHALL
INCLUDE  A  CITY  SCHOOL  DISTRICT  OF A CITY HAVING A POPULATION OF ONE
MILLION OR MORE INHABITANTS AND HAVING AN ASIAN POPULATION EQUAL  TO  OR
GREATER  THAN  SEVEN  AND  ONE-HALF  PERCENT.  THE ASIAN POPULATION, FOR
PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, SHALL INCLUDE THOSE PERSONS, ADULTS AND  CHIL-
DREN,  WHO ARE FULLY OR PARTIALLY OF ASIAN DESCENT AND SHALL INCLUDE ALL
THOSE PERSONS AND ETHNIC GROUPS IDENTIFIED AS ASIAN BY THE UNITED STATES
CENSUS BUREAU IN THE MOST RECENT DECENNIAL UNITED STATES CENSUS.  IN THE
EVENT THAT THE STATE OF NEW YORK OR  THE  UNITED  STATES  CENSUS  BUREAU
COLLECTS  POPULATION  DATA  FOR  THE STATE OF NEW YORK WHICH DENOTES THE
NUMBER OF CITIZENS OF ASIAN-INDIAN, BANGLADESHI, AND SRI LANKAN DESCENT,
THEN A QUALIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL INCLUDE A CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT OF
A CITY HAVING A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION OR MORE INHABITANTS AND HAVING
A SOUTH ASIAN POPULATION, INCLUDING ASIAN-INDIAN, BANGLADESHI,  AND  SRI
LANKAN EQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN THREE PERCENT.
  3. THE SCHOOL AUTHORITIES OF EVERY QUALIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT ARE HERE-
BY  AUTHORIZED  AND  DIRECTED  TO  CAUSE  ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS WITHIN SUCH
DISTRICT TO BE CLOSED ON LAKSHMI PUJA, DURING THE FESTIVAL OF DIWALI.
  S 2. Section 3604 of the education law is  amended  by  adding  a  new
subdivision 7-c to read as follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD14679-02-4

S. 7002                             2

  7-C.  NOTWITHSTANDING  ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, FOR PURPOSES OF ANY
CALCULATION UNDER SUBDIVISION  SEVEN  OR  EIGHT  OF  THIS  SECTION,  THE
COMMISSIONER  SHALL DISREGARD ANY REDUCTION RESULTING FROM OBSERVANCE OF
LAKSHMI PUJA, DURING THE FESTIVAL OF  DIWALI  AND,  IF  NECESSARY,  SUCH
OBSERVED HOLIDAY SHALL BE CALCULATED AS A SESSION DAY.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
it  shall  have  become a law; provided that any and all rules and regu-
lations and any other measures necessary to implement any  provision  of
this act on its effective date may be promulgated and taken, respective-
ly, on or before such effective date.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.