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Lunar New Year Holiday Proposal Becomes State Law

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Local elected officials and community activists came to P.S. 124 on Division Street yesterday to celebrate a long-fought victory that will likely lead to a Lunar New Year school holiday in New York City. Governor Cuomo signed legislation Wednesday that requires the city’s Department of Education to consider closing schools on any day in which “a considerable proportion of students” would likely be absent. Absentee rates during the Lunar New Year holiday in Chinatown schools is as high as 60 percent. The proposal was pushed by State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, State Sen. Daniel Squadron, Assemblyman Ron Kim of Queens and U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng, who previously served in Albany. This year, the holiday falls on Feb. 19, when students are already on winter break. But the new law will allow the city to declare a Lunar New Year holiday in future years.

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