Adams moves to make Diwali a school holiday, but puts the onus on Albany
Mayor Eric Adams promised on Thursday to make Diwali a public school holiday next year for hundreds of thousands of New York City families observing the festival of light, but he’s asking state legislators to make it happen.
“It is long overdue to say to our Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist students and community that we see you, we acknowledge you,” Adams told those gathered at the education department’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan for the announcement with Queens Rep. Jenifer Rajkumar and schools Chancellor David Banks.
The announcement came a week after THE CITY reported Adams had broken his day-one campaign promise to make Diwali a public school holiday. But Adams will not unilaterally make the holiday a day off. Instead, he’s encouraging state lawmakers to pass a bill that would enshrine Diwali in the official school calendar, raising concerns among some holiday supporters.
The state requires a minimum of 180 school days in a year. To make Diwali an official school holiday, Rajkumar’s legislation will light the way by replacing “Anniversary Day” — or “Brooklyn-Queens Day” as the day off in June has been previously known — with the Diwali holiday.
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