S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
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.
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.