Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cesar Chavez' Birthday To Be Honored In LA Unified

According to the LA Times:

In August 2000, legislators and former Gov. Gray Davis had approved a state bill establishing March 31, Chavez's birthday, as a state holiday, becoming the first in the country to honor a Latino or organized labor figure.

The bill, however, omitted public schools, leaving the decision to close for the day to local school boards.

This week, the Los Angeles Unified School District's Board of Education passed a resolution allowing the state holiday to become an official school holiday...

The resolution by the Los Angeles school board calls for Supt. Ramon Cortines to report to the board in 90 days with a plan to replace another holiday with Cesar Chavez Day.

The board is looking at substituting it for Admission Day, which commemorates California's statehood on Sept. 9, 1850. The district provides a paid day off in late August for Admission Day, one of about 12 paid holidays for staff.

Admission Day is September 9th; why does LA Unified take a day off in late August for it?

When I was a kid, we started school the day after Labor Day, and usually the next week we got a day off for Admission Day. Our first two weeks were 4-day weeks, which we, of course, liked. I don't know when that ended, but upon becoming a teacher in the late 90's we always started school in August (now it's mid-August) and there's no Admission Day holiday.

From a view towards history, I like Admission Day. I'll bet, though, that if you surveyed 1000 in downtown Sacramento today, not 2 could identify the date. That's sad--it should be a holiday throughout the state, including at schools.

That doesn't mean that Chavez shouldn't have a holiday, though. Nothing wrong at all with what LA Unified is doing, especially since they don't even celebrate Admission Day on Admission Day.

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

San Jacinto Day used to be celebrated in Texas along with Abraham Lincoln and Geo. Washington's birthday. Now we get back from "winter break" go to school about ten days, have exams, have MLK Day. The other days have been demoted to just another retail sales gimmick. And don't get me started on Memorial Day. Nobody remembers those people who paid the ultimate price anymore-sadly.