Howard County's school board voted unanimously this week to markedly expand its schedule of religious and cultural holidays, a decision members said recognized the growing diversity of the suburban Maryland school system.

Students will get days off next school year for two Jewish holy days, following a debate over whether to end the longtime practice. They also will be off for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, the eve of Lunar New Year and the Hindu holiday of Diwali.

The change came in a vote Thursday night as elected officials sought to be fair to a growing spectrum of groups that have asked for students to have time off with their families on major holidays.

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