- Associated Press - Friday, January 15, 2016

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) - Howard County is expanding the list of religious and cultural holidays on the school system’s calendar.

The board’s voted unanimously Thursday night to give students days off on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, the eve of Lunar New Year and the Hindu holiday of Diwali, in addition to two Jewish holy days. Students will be off on those days either through school closings or professional development days for teachers.

The decision comes after objections to a proposal to open schools on the Jewish holy days of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana for the first time in over three decades. Maryland law requires schools to be closed on Christmas, Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Board member Janet Siddiqui says she believes the school calendar should be inclusive.

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