Wednesday, February 22, 2006

New holiday for DCPS students?

Could DCPS students soon be sleeping in late one extra day of the school year? If DC Council Member Jack Evens' legislation passes Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year) will be the latest District holiday to close schools and gov't offices.
"There are hundreds of millions of people who celebrate this every year and we don't," Evans said Tuesday. "We don't even recognize it."

Roughly 3 percent of the District's population, or about 17,000 people, are Asian, according to the U.S. Census.

Like Emancipation Day, added last year to the D.C. calendar as an annual April holiday, the new day off would cost District taxpayers $1.1 million. Evans said the holiday is worth the money, but one local budget watchdog disagreed.

"It seems we could find a way to honor the Chinese New Year and other important days to District residents without making it a costly holiday for the District," said Ed Lazere, executive director of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute. "Every time you give every D.C. government worker a day off, it costs that much more to run the D.C. government."

1 comment:

Ed Researcher said...

This kind of pandering is common across the country and really should be limited. For example, the Chicago Public Schools takes the day off for Pulaski Day.

A better use of the time would be to declare the holiday, keep the schools open, and use it as a day to study the cultural event in question.