We haven’t heard too much from the New York City mayoral race lately, and for obvious reasons. Let’s face it… once Weiner was out of the race it sort of lost most of its media appeal. But the battle goes on, and while the remaining two major party candidates are far less… let’s say “colorful”… than Carlos Danger, they’re still doing their best to keep alive the long tradition of turning Big Apple politics into a parody from some alternate reality.
At this rate, city kids will be in school until the end of July.
Now that leading mayoral candidates Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota have both vowed to add two Muslim holidays to the public school calendar, advocates for other religious and ethnic groups are clamoring for their days to be recognized too.
So it probably wasn’t much of a surprise that Democrat candidate (and most likely next mayor) de Blasio wants to make this move. But just to remind us that politics in New York City is unlike anything else you’re used to on the national level, Joe Lhota – the Republican – immediately jumped on the bandwagon as well. Apparently there must be enough of a Muslim vote out there, or at least those sympathetic to same, to drive this sort of stump speech call. But Big Apple politics can never be satisfied with a single move like this. If adding a couple of Muslim holidays is a good idea, dumping a bunch more into the mix must be a great idea.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver jumped into the brewing holy war Friday, saying the city should consider giving kids the day off for the Chinese New Year.
“I think the city has to recognize (Chinese New Year),” said Silver, a Democrat whose district includes Chinatown in lower Manhattan. “We don’t want to take away from the learning days, but we have to adjust the calendar appropriately to include all of the major populations that we have.”
Shelly Silver, as any of you familiar with state politics here know, is the long time Democrat Party machine boss in Albany who has essentially run New York State for ages now. So if we start adding new days off to the school calendar, he’ll probably get his way. So… anybody else?
Also jumping into the vacation fray is City Councilman Daniel Dromm, a Queens Democrat who represents ethnically diverse Jackson Heights.
Dromm introduced a resolution in July to close school on the holy day of Diwali, a festival of lights celebrated by Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains.
A spokesman for Lhota said he’d consider adding other holidays. De Blasio has said he supports adding the Chinese New Year, but his campaign wouldn’t comment on Diwali.
I can’t help but notice that none of them are talking about adding any more of the major Jewish holidays to the list of school closures. And what about Kwanza? The children are still being forced to go to school on Kwanza!
We’ve had discussions about extending the school year before, mostly in the hopes of keeping up with other countries who are leaving us behind in scholastic achievement, but this wasn’t what anyone had in mind. State law still mandates that the kids have to attend school for 183 days per year, and if all these items get put in place, summer vacation won’t start until the 4th of July. But hey… this is New York. We’re only functional on a parody based command and control system.