NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A628B
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the education law, in relation to establishing Diwali as
a school holiday in certain public schools
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To designate Diwali as a school holiday in the city of New York.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends the education law by adding a
new section 2586-a
Section 2 amends Subdivision 2-a of section 3635 of the education law.
Section 3 sets the effective date.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE):
The B-Print has a new Section 1 declaring Diwali as a public school
holiday in the city of New York, and a new Section 2 establishing the
date of the holiday.
New York City public schools customarily close for holidays observed by
large numbers of students, parents, and faculty. Hundreds of thousands
of Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist New York City residents observe the
festival of Diwali. Designating Diwali as a school holiday in New York
City would provide the many New Yorkers observing the day with the same
recognition and accommodation afforded those who observe other holidays.
This would give proper recognition to New York's growing South Asian and
IndoCaribbean community, which has spent decades lobbying for the holi-
day. Stakeholders across the state, including those in the New York
City public school system, all support designation of Diwali as a school
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
To be determined.
This act shall take effect on July 1, 2023.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2023-2024 Regular Sessions
January 10, 2023
Introduced by M. of A. RAJKUMAR, RAGA, ROZIC, TAYLOR, TAPIA, LEE, KIM,
BICHOTTE HERMELYN, SEAWRIGHT, BRAUNSTEIN, GONZALEZ-ROJAS, CUNNINGHAM,
BURGOS, CRUZ, SHRESTHA, LAVINE, PHEFFER AMATO, BORES, AUBRY, ALVAREZ,
GALLAGHER, DILAN, SANTABARBARA, ANDERSON, D. ROSENTHAL, SEPTIMO,
JOYNER, HYNDMAN, LUCAS, SAYEGH, WEPRIN, KELLES, GLICK, BEEPHAN, FALL,
GIBBS, DE LOS SANTOS, REYES, HEVESI, EPSTEIN, CARROLL, SILLITTI --
read once and referred to the Committee on Education -- committee
discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
to said committee -- again reported from said committee with amend-
ments, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to establishing Diwali as
a school holiday in certain public schools
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 2586-a
2 to read as follows:
3 § 2586-a. Diwali as a holiday for students in the public schools of
4 the city of New York. The fifteenth day of the eighth month of the Indi-
5 an calendar in each year, known as Diwali, is hereby made and declared
6 to be a holiday for students in all the public schools in the city
7 school district in the city of New York and students shall not be
8 required to attend the public schools on such day. If such day falls on
9 a Sunday, students shall not be required to attend public schools on the
10 Monday thereafter.
11 § 2. Subdivision 2-a of section 3635 of the education law, as amended
12 by chapter 424 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows:
13 2-a. The superintendent of each city school district, in a city having
14 a population in excess of one million, shall prepare a public school
15 calendar and shall notify officials of nonpublic schools to which trans-
16 portation has been requested not later than the first day of June in
17 each year, of the days on which the public schools will be in session in
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 628--B 2
1 the following school year. Such school district which provides transpor-
2 tation to nonpublic schools shall provide such transportation for the
3 same number of days as the public schools are open but shall not provide
4 transportation services for more than one hundred eighty days. Offi-
5 cials of each nonpublic school to which transportation is provided by a
6 city school district of a city having a population in excess of one
7 million may notify such district, not later than the first day of July
8 of each school year, of a maximum of five days, exclusive of Saturdays,
9 Sundays or legal holidays upon which public schools are required to be
10 closed, on which the public schools are scheduled to be closed, except
11 that in any year in which the first or last day of Passover and Easter
12 Sunday are separated by more than seven days, such officials may notify
13 the district of a maximum of ten days, but such school district will be
14 required to provide for transportation to such nonpublic school provided
15 that such five or ten additional days, whichever is applicable, are
16 limited to the following: the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
17 after Labor Day, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, the week in which public
18 schools are closed for spring recess, December twenty-fourth and the
19 week between Christmas day and New Year's day, the Tuesday, Wednesday,
20 Thursday and Friday after the observance of Washington's birthday, the
21 fifteenth day of the eighth month of the Indian calendar in each year,
22 known as Diwali, and, in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens only, Anni-
23 versary Day as designated in section twenty-five hundred eighty-six of
24 this chapter.
25 § 3. This act shall take effect on July 1, 2023.