HICKSVILLE, NEW YORK, March 6, 2019 (CBSNewYork): New York is a diverse melting pot and now there's a push to make school calendars look that way, too. As CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff found out Wednesday, a bill being considered in Albany could add religious holidays to the academic year. "It's only appropriate and fair to extend a holiday like Diwali or Eid or Vaisakhi to people from the South Asian community," said state Sen. Kevin Thomas, D-Garden City. "These are like Christmas and New Year."
Thomas, New York's first senator of Indian descent, is sponsoring a bill to give districts the ability to close on six additional religious holidays -- two Islamic, two Hindu, one Sikh and Christian Good Friday. New York City schools already close on the Lunar New Year and Islamic Eid al-Fitr. The bill allows school closure when at least 7.5 percent of student population is of that faith. New York state education officials say there is nothing in current law that prevents such a move as long as children attend the required 180 days.