BUFFALO, N.Y. — Asian Lunar New Year was the latest holiday to be recognized by New York State public schools. Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the bill in September.

While it's seen as an important way to recognize the AAPI community and give others the chance to learn more about the day, it could pose difficulties for school districts.

“By law, school districts are required to offer what are called 180 session days and what these are, they can be the days on which students are given instruction,” explained Robert Lowry, the deputy director of the New York State Council of School Superintendents.

Right now, those days are required to be between Sept. 1 and June 30.

“With additional religious holidays being recognized, whether it's by law or by choice, that that creates difficulties for school districts finding a way to fit those all those instructional days,” explained Lowry.

He says there’s a way to sneak those days in. Up to four staff development days count toward the total and can be before September. Additionally, during snow days, schools have the option to go remote instead.

“[The] problem with that that we've heard is, particularly for elementary school kids, it does not seem to be that effective," he explained. "It's kind of a wash day in any event, in terms of valuable instruction.”

Some schools have taken things into their own hands.

“I'm aware of one more affluent district on Long Island where they said, even though it won't qualify for state aid, we will schedule an instructional day. I think it was Aug. 31,” Lowry said.

That could be one solution going forward.

“We would recommend authorizing schools to have instructional days during the last two weeks in August and have those count towards the 180 required for total school aid,” Lowry remarked.

While collective bargaining and community support still need to be taken into account, it’s either that or potentially seeing vacation cut back elsewhere.

“We'll have to forego the February break that the families have become accustomed to having,” Lowry said.

If more state holidays are added in the future, including Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Eid and Diwali, it’s especially something that could make an impact in the coming years.

“I think it's part of the Golden Rule: Treat other people the way you would like to be treated," said Lowry. "But, as I say, it does create practical issues.”

Lowry says the burden isn’t just on school districts. Because some of these holidays aren’t state or federal ones, parents might not have that time off. In that scenario, they might have to find other means of child care.