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Thousands Skip School as N.Y. Marks Passover

United Press International

Thousands of substitutes took over classrooms for teachers who stayed home for the Jewish Passover holiday in the nation’s largest school system Thursday after a judge ordered the schools to remain open.

School officials said 41% of the 60,000 public schoolteachers were absent and many students also stayed away from classes.

Bert Shanas, a spokesman for the United Federation of Teachers, said spot checks of schools found that “massive” numbers of students stayed home, relieving the threat of safety problems.

Officials from nine school districts--which include 253 public schools--said their teachers announced plans to stay home Thursday and today for Passover. New York City has 950 public schools with about 1 million students and is the largest such system in the nation.

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Parents sued to close the schools, but Judge Daniel Joy, in a ruling Wednesday, upheld the Board of Education’s efforts to keep the schools open to avoid jeopardizing $4 million in state aid to education.


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