The Queens Chronicle reports that there are number of local lawmakers that want to see Lunar New Year made into a school holiday, so kids, teachers, and staff can have the day off to celebrate. Lunar New Year is one of the most important times of the year for East Asian families. At this time of year, some schools see an 80% drop in attendance on the first day of Lunar New Year.
Some politicians fully back the idea and given their two cents about it. State Senator Daniel Squadron (he represents Manhattan’s Chinatown) says, “On the day of the Lunar New Year, classrooms are emptied out. People should not have to choose between spending their most important holiday with their family and going to school.” State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (she represents Flushing) says, “It’s time we show the proper respect to the Asian-American community. Lunar New Year is a time when families, from near and far, come together to celebrate.”
Mayor Bloomberg is not a fan of this idea and has rejected the idea in the past. Legislation, which was proposed years ago in the State Senate and Assembly “would establish Lunar New Year as a school holiday for districts with an Asian-American population of at least 7.5 percent based on the 2000 Census.” At this point in time, Flushing is the only neighborhood that meets this criterium. Flushing and Chinatown lawmakers continue to push it, though.