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NY legislators back Lunar New Year school closings

Friday, January 31, 2014
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— Several New York legislators are backing a measure that would let New York City close schools on the Chinese Lunar New Year.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Daniel Squadron and Assemblyman Ron Kim and has two-dozen co-sponsors.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says he expects it to pass that chamber next week.

Friday is the first day of the Year of the Horse.

According to sponsors, one in six city public school students are Asian American. Those who celebrate the Lunar New Year receive an "excused" absence, with up to 80 percent absent in some schools.

The bill would require that the city Department of Education consider closing schools if a holiday will likely result in "a considerable proportion" of absences.

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