- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York will let schools close on the Chinese Lunar New Year or other days when religious or cultural observances will keep most students at home.

The new law requires boards of education to make a decision on whether to close schools on days where “a considerable proportion of the student population” is unlikely to attend and would therefore waste resources.

Boards can determine whether to close an individual school or all their districts’ schools for religious or cultural observances when “absenteeism may result in the waste of educational resources.”

State Sen. Daniel Squadron says some schools in New York City have absentee rates as high as 60 percent for the Lunar New Year.

Next year it’s Feb. 19, when the city’s public schools are already closing for winter recess.

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