Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan
THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan
Federal, state and city officials gathered Friday to support making Lunar New Year an official school holiday.

State lawmakers have strengthened a renewed push to make Lunar New Year an official school holiday, garnering support from City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Students shouldn’t feel like they have to choose between celebrating their heritage and missing a day of school,” the newly-risen speaker said.

The City Council plans to introduce two resolutions, calling for schools to close and metered parking to be suspended on one of the most important holidays of the year in Asian communities, Mark-Viverito said.

Multiple other measures have been introduced in the state and federal levels that call for a similar break for families.

A bill that would establish Lunar New Year as a school holiday for districts with an Asian-American population of at least 7.5 percent has been introduced in the State Senate and Assembly for years.

Flushing is the only neighborhood in Queens to meet the criteria, along with Chinatown in downtown Manhattan.

While it has made no movement in the past, elected officials gathered Friday in downtown Flushing to declare 2014 the year of action.

“This is the year and this is the time we believe it’s going to happen,” said Councilmember Paul Vallone, who is drafting a bill that would suspend metered parking that day.

About 14 percent of city students in the school system are Asian-American, Mark-Viverito said.

Officials have long argued absence rates in some city schools climb 80 percent on the first day of the Lunar New Year. Though observing students are “excused,” the absence is marked on their record.

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, who spearheaded the Assembly’s attempts during her last tenure, proposed a resolution in Congress this month, asking local education agencies that include the city’s Department of Education to close schools that day.

“One day, we’ll look back and see that we made history,” said Councilmember Karen Koslowitz.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Comments:

Join The Discussion



Related Stories
Cured meat competition highlights Queens events this weekend and beyond
Cured meat competition highlights Queens events this weekend and beyond
Enjoy the nice weather with these Queens events this weekend and beyond!
Enjoy the nice weather with these Queens events this weekend and beyond!
Popular Stories
Photo via Google Maps
Cantonese restaurant King Yum in Fresh Meadows is closing for good
Photo: Suzanne Monteverdi/QNS
Son allegedly slashed mother, then himself at Bayside assisted living facility, police say
Photo by Robert Stridiron/Inset courtesy of NYPD
Woodhaven home invader roughed up woman and locked her in a closet, cops said
Skip to toolbar