NYC Schools to Close For Lunar New Year


It’s not about American culture anymore.

Original Publication by CHRIS FUCHS | NBC News:

For years, Asian-American parents in New York City were forced to choose between keeping their children home to celebrate the first day of Lunar New Year — one of the most important holidays in Asian culture — and tarnishing their kids’ public school attendance record.

But that will all change come Feb. 8 as the city, in which one in eight residents is of Asian descent according to the U.S. Census, prepares to ring in the Year of the Monkey as a school holiday.

“The fact that we got it for a school holiday, that’s a big win,” Chin, a Democrat whose district includes Chinatown, told NBC News.

Closing schools for the first day of Lunar New Year — as well as for the Muslim holy days of Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr — was a campaign pledge Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, made in 2013 while running for office. For nearly a decade, city, state, and federally elected officials, along with community groups, had been fighting for the addition of the holiday in a public school system with 1.1. million students, of which one in six is Asian.

Following mounting pressure, the mayor, who controls the city’s school system with state approval, announced on June 22 through Twitter that Lunar New Year would be added to the 2015-2016 calendar. The message was published in English, Chinese, and Korean.

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