Avella introduces bill to make Saint Patrick’s Day school holiday

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State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has introduced a bill that would establish Saint Patrick’s Day as a school holiday in districts with a significant Irish population.

The move comes on the heels of the recognition of Ramadan and the Lunar New Year as school holidays. After the Department of Education announced that parent-teacher conferences would be held once again on the Irish holiday, as DOE did in 2011 during the 250th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade parade, members of the Irish community petitioned Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to change the date.

Using the language of the Lunar New Year school holiday bill that unanimously passed the State Senate, Avella introduced a bill that would establish Saint Patrick’s Day as a school holiday in city school districts of one million or more with an Irish population of 7.5 percent or greater.

New York state has the largest concentrated Irish population in the United States at 12.9 percent, and New York City itself was the first to host a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in 1762, which continues to be one of the most widely attended traditions in the city.

“It is really quite astounding that Saint Patrick’s Day is yet to be recognized as a school holiday in New York, where so many Irish

immigrants originally settled and where so many of their descendants still live,” Avella said. “It isn’t just time we do this, it is time past due.”

Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

Posted 12:00 am, February 22, 2016
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Reader feedback

dan from queens says:
Yea us irish should have had it a long time ago since we helped build this city. However, there is not many of us left in nyc, just like the italians, we are a dying breed in nyc. I think they should have left the school calendar as it was and never gave anyone any holiday. I would rather send my daughter to school on st Patrick's day then to give these kids yet another day off! These kids already get enough of a break from school. The government just opened up a big can of worms with all these races crying that they want off from school. Our children's educations should come first, not a holiday! Must be nice to be a teacher anymore in the city of ny! 30 days off per school year and off all summer also they get 3 months off for maternity leave! What a job!
Feb. 22, 2016, 6:25 am
okay if you have no summer vacation from queens says:
We can keep giving every real and imagined group a day off if we do away with summer vacation. Have LGBT day, every holiday of every religion represented in the city, every leader's birthday such as Fiorello LaGuardia off.
Feb. 22, 2016, 9:18 am
anon from queens, says:
Let's just give every nationality a day off from school.
The parents will have a canary,another day they have to spend for baby sitting!
Feb. 23, 2016, 4:50 pm

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