Squadron Statement on Senate Passage of Bill to Push Lunar New Year School Holiday

ALBANY—Today, the New York State Senate approved a bill (S.6688 Golden/Squadron / A.7756 Kim/Silver), long championed by Senator Squadron, to allow Lunar New Year to be a school holiday. The bill would  require that the city Department of Education (DOE) consider closing schools if a holiday is likely to result in a considerable proportion of students being absent. The State Assembly passed this bill in February.

“Today’s passage of the bill to push Lunar New Year school holiday is an important recognition by the state Legislature of the choice faced by so many families—celebrating the most important day of the year, or missing a day of school. It will also make the City Department of Education more responsive to changes in our city’s diverse makeup and ensure that each year’s 180 school days are as effective as possible.

“Fortunately, NYC schools are already closed for winter recess during next year's Lunar New Year, and I thank the City for that. I look forward to working closely with Mayor de Blasio to fully implement this measure so that New York City’s public school students no longer have to choose between their most important cultural holidays and missing class. I am pleased to work with Speaker Silver, Congresswoman Meng, Assemblymember Kim, and Senator Golden to advance this legislation that will resonate from Chinatown to Flushing and throughout New York City.  ”

The Year of the Sheep begins on Thursday, February 19, 2015. New York City public schools will be closed for winter recess from February 16-20.