New York City Council Header
File #: Res 1281-2008    Version: Name: Department of Education to incorporate the Muslim holidays of Eid Ul-Fitr and Eid Ul-Adha as observed school holidays.
Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Committee: Committee on Education
On agenda: 2/27/2008
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the New York City Department of Education to incorporate the Muslim holidays of Eid Ul-Fitr and Eid Ul-Adha as observed school holidays in the school calendar for the city school district of the city of New York, and calling upon the State legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign into law, A.8108/S.5837, an Act to amend the education law, in relation to requiring that Eid Ul-Fitr and Eid Ul-Adha be school holidays in the city school district of the city of New York.
Sponsors: Robert Jackson, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Helen D. Foster, Sara M. Gonzalez, Maria Del Carmen Arroyo, Annabel Palma, Letitia James, Leroy G. Comrie, Jr., Inez E. Dickens, Rosie Mendez, Kendall Stewart, Albert Vann, Thomas White, Jr., Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., Joel Rivera, Charles Barron, Vincent J. Gentile, Larry B. Seabrook, David Yassky, Darlene Mealy, John C. Liu, David I. Weprin, Maria Baez, James Vacca, Tony Avella, Miguel Martinez, Mathieu Eugene, Helen Sears, Michael C. Nelson, James F. Gennaro, Peter F. Vallone, Jr., Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Bill De Blasio, Elizabeth S. Crowley, Kenneth C. Mitchell
Council Member Sponsors: 35
Attachments: 1. Res. No. 1281 - 2/27/09, 2. Committee Report 9/26/08, 3. Hearing Testimony 9/26/08, 4. Hearing Transcript 9/26/08, 5. Committee Report 6/18/09, 6. Hearing Testimony 6/18/09, 7. Hearing Transcript 6/18/09, 8. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 6/30/09
Date Ver.Prime SponsorAction ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsMultimedia
6/30/2009ARobert Jackson City Council Approved, by CouncilPass Action details Meeting details Not available
6/18/2009*Robert Jackson Committee on Education Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
6/18/2009*Robert Jackson Committee on Education Amendment Proposed by Comm  Action details Meeting details Not available
6/18/2009*Robert Jackson Committee on Education Amended by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
6/18/2009ARobert Jackson Committee on Education Approved by CommitteePass Action details Meeting details Not available
9/26/2008*Robert Jackson Committee on Education Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
9/26/2008*Robert Jackson Committee on Education Laid Over by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
2/27/2008*Robert Jackson City Council Referred to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
2/27/2008*Robert Jackson City Council Introduced by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available

Res. No. 1281-A

 

Resolution calling upon the New York City Department of Education to incorporate the Muslim holidays of Eid Ul-Fitr and Eid Ul-Adha as observed school holidays in the school calendar for the city school district of the city of New York, and calling upon the State legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign into law, A.8108/S.5837, an Act to amend the education law, in relation to requiring that Eid Ul-Fitr and Eid Ul-Adha be school holidays in the city school district of the city of New York. 

 

By Council Members Jackson, Mark-Viverito, Foster, Gonzalez, Arroyo, Palma, James, Comrie, Dickens, Mendez, Stewart, Vann, White Jr., Recchia Jr., Rivera, Barron, Gentile, Seabrook, Yassky, Mealy, Liu, Weprin, Baez, Vacca, Avella, Martinez, Eugene, Sears, Nelson, Gennaro, Vallone Jr., Ferreras, de Blasio, Crowley and Mitchell

 

                     Whereas, The “Muslims in New York City Project,” an initiative through Columbia University’s Middle East Institute, estimates that approximately 600,000 Muslims live in New York City, and represent one of the fastest growing religious communities in the City; and

                     Whereas, According to the Coalition for Muslim School Holidays (“the Coalition”), approximately 12% of New York City public school students are Muslim; and

                     Whereas, Furthermore, the Coalition reported that 95% of Muslim school-age children residing in New York City attend public schools; and

                     Whereas, Despite this growing population, two important Muslim holidays, Eid Ul-Fitr and Eid Ul-Adha, are not recognized as school holidays in the New York City public school system; and 

                     Whereas, Eid Ul-Fitr is a time of joy and thanksgiving that is celebrated at the completion of Ramadan and involves various celebrations and special services; and

                     Whereas, Eid Ul-Adha, or the “Feast of Sacrifice,” is the second most important festival on the Muslim calendar, and is a day of remembrance; and

                     Whereas, Currently, New York City public schools are closed on several religious holidays, including Christmas, Good Friday, Rosh Hashanah and Passover; and

Whereas, It should be noted that Chancellor’s Regulation A-630 puts forth guidelines regarding the provision of reasonable accommodations for religious observance and practices for public school students; and

Whereas, Pursuant to the Regulation, reasonable accommodations include excused absences for religious observance outside of school grounds, as well as in-school provisions such as time for praying or sitting separately in the cafeteria during periods in which a student may fast; and 

Whereas, Despite the intentions behind this Regulation, many parents, students and advocates have expressed concern that Muslim students are still left at a disadvantage, having to choose between missing school, which can result in falling behind their peers and affecting their attendance record, or participating in an important holiday; and

Whereas, It should be noted that according to the Coalition, other localities with growing Muslim populations have incorporated Eid Ul-Fitr and Eid Ul-Adha into their school holiday calendar; and

Whereas, Such localities include Dearborn, Michigan and several New Jersey cities and townships including Irvington, Atlantic City, Trenton and Paterson; and

Whereas, New York City is a diverse and dynamic locality in which tolerance and acceptance are central values, and incorporation of Eid Ul-Fitr and Eid Ul-Adha as public school holidays would serve as an important embodiment of this tolerance and acceptance; and

Whereas, Assembly Member Michael Benjamin and Senator Bill Perkins have introduced State legislation (A.8108/S.5837) that would require the New York City school district to close schools on the first day of both Muslim holidays; and

Whereas, The New York City Department of Education itself has authority over the school calendar for the city school district of the city of New York and, as a matter of policy can incorporate the Muslim holidays of Eid Ul-Fitr and Eid Ul-Adha as observed holidays in such school district pending the passage of the state legislation (A.8108/S.5837); now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York City Department of Education to incorporate the Muslim holidays of Eid Ul-Fitr and Eid Ul-Adha as observed school holidays in the school calendar for the city school district of the city of New York, and calling upon the State legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign into law, A.8108/S.5837, an Act to amend the education law, in relation to requiring that Eid Ul-Fitr and Eid Ul-Adha be school holidays in the city school district of the city of New York.

 

LS#4229

JC/AES

6/16/09. 12:15pm