HomeCommunityCalifornia community colleges can now celebrate Lunar New Year as state holiday

California community colleges can now celebrate Lunar New Year as state holiday

California Community Colleges can now celebrate Lunar New Year as a state holiday.

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed AB 264, a bill introduced by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) that gives the community colleges the flexibility to observe Lunar New Year.

“Lunar New Year has been celebrated around the world for thousands of years. It is a key holiday in several countries, and celebrations in the United States help strengthen cultural identity. I’m grateful the Governor saw its importance to the Asian community and signed my bill,” Ting said in a press release. “When a larger community, such as college students, celebrates LNY, we open doors to acceptance and understanding. Though hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are on the decline, we still must create opportunities for people to learn about each other and have a better understanding of different cultures.”

The bill does not enable community colleges to give students an extra day off for Lunar New Year. Instead, they can combine two holidays and add Lunar New Year to the calendar.

Last year, Newsom signed AB 2596, which made Lunar New Year an optional state holiday. But a separate bill was necessary to amend the California Community College Education Code to allow Lunar New Year observance.

“Recognition of Lunar New Year at our community colleges is about celebrating the large Asian student body and staff that we have,” City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees President Alan Wong, who has been urging the state legislature to amend the code.

“At City College of San Francisco, one out of every three students is of Asian descent, and many have to decide between taking care of their families, cooking and preparing for the celebration with their community, or doing homework and going to class instead. For the Asian community, this new law acknowledges the diversity of our community.”

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