Muslim Holidays Are Now NYC Public School Holidays

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this morning that the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Adha and al-Fitr have been added to the NYC public school schedule, calling it “a change that respects the diversity of our city.”

During the Bloomberg administration, the City Council approved adding the holidays, but Mayor Bloomberg was against the measure, saying in 2008, “The truth of the matter is we need more children in school. More, not less,” and “When you have a city as diverse as we do, with virtually every religion known to man practiced, if we closed school for every single day there wouldn’t be any school.”

Before he took office, de Blasio had voiced his support of adding Muslim holidays to the school calendar (FWIW, Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota agreed). Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo signed a new law allowing local school boards make Lunar New Year an official holiday. This has not yet happened in NYC, but today City Council Member Margaret Chin said, “I will continue to discuss this issue with Mayor de Blasio and his staff, and I will do everything in my power to advocate for the designation of Lunar New Year as an official public school holiday for 2016 and beyond.”

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