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Puerto Rico

November 11, 2002

H.P. 3048: Law Adding Burdensome Regulations on Homeschoolers

Author:
Representative Garcia Cabán

Summary:
On October 9, 2002, a new homeschooling law was introduced in the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico. It appears that whoever drafted this legislation picked out the worst provisions of the worst homeschool laws in the United States and incorporated them.

We are in contact with several of the key homeschool leaders in Puerto Rico, including attorney Carlos Perez-Sierra and veteran homeschooler Jose Curet. We will coordinate with the leaders in Puerto Rico to mount opposition to this bill. However, one of the keys to defeating H.P. 3048 is to have every homeschool family in Puerto Rico actively working to defeat this bill. Amending the legislation is not acceptable; we must defeat H.P. 3048.

Status:
H.P. 3048 has been referred to the Education and Culture Committee for consideration.

HSLDA's Position:
This bill MUST be opposed.

Requested Action:
1. Call the President of the Education & Culture Committee, Jose Javier Garcia Caban at 787-724-4464. Inform Sr. Caban that you are opposed to H.P. 3048 and that homeschoolers do not need to be regulated by the government; they are providing a superior education without regulation.

2. Contact Carlos Irizarry Vizcarrondo, Speaker of the House of Representatives (ex-oficio member of the Education & Culture Committee) at 787-722-0458, providing the same information you provided to Sr. Caban.

3. Look over the list of Representatives below. These are the members of the Education & Culture Committee. If your Representative is listed contact him or her at the telephone provided to voice your opposition to H.P. 3048, as well.

Education & Culture Committee Members:

Colon Gonzalez, Jose Luis - 787-723-6250
Corujo, Sylvia - 787-721-4039
Garcia Caban, Jose Javier - 787-724-4464
Garcia San Inocencio, Victor - 787-725-4942 / 725-4952
Gonzalez Gonzalez, Carmen I. "Ciela" - 787-721-6040
Jimenez Negron, Jose L. - 787-725-1069
Lopez Santos, Pedro - 787-721-6040 / 722-2508
Marrero Vazquez, Felix "Felito" - 787-977-2417
Rivera Guerra, Jose L. - 787-721-7520
Ruiz Morales, Jose F. - 787-723-6100
Torres Cruz, Luis Raul - 787-725-4431
Irizarry Vizcarrondo, Carlos - 787-722-0458

4. Pass this information on to any of your friends and family who are homeschoolers or who may be concerned about family freedom in Puerto Rico. Contact your territorial organization or local support. Networking with like-minded homeschoolers is crucial at this time.

5. Pray that God will preserve home education by the defeat of H.P. 3048. Pray for unity among homeschooling leaders and support groups as they work together opposing this bill.

Background:
The following is a list of requirements that will be imposed on homeschoolers if H.P. 3048 becomes law:

  • Parents must have a college degree OR be supervised by a certified teacher.

  • An annual affidavit to apply for home schooling must be submitted 60 days prior to the beginning of school year.

  • The annual affidavit will require such as information as: names and ages of the children with their social security numbers, vaccination evidence, and a certification that the teacher and all adults living in the home have not been convicted of breaking a "moral depravation law" within the last five years.

  • The curriculum or study plan shall comply with the basic elements in the schools of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico as determined by a five-member board appointed by the governor. The board members must have at least ten years teaching experience.

  • Parents will have to maintain a register containing evidence of materials used with educational purposes, writing samples, worksheets, exam grades, uniforms, students' jobs, vaccination record, and a register of days and hours of study.

  • Each homeschool schooled student will be evaluated by way of an interview annually by licensed psychologist or teacher certified by the state.

  • The homeschool board will decide whether academic progress of the student is "poor" based upon an evaluation by a licensed psychologist or teacher certified by the state of the annual register and test results from the annual examination of the students.

  • Each student will have to annually take uniform examinations created, approved, provided, administered and supervised by the board and the department of education.

  • The homeschool board, amongst its powers, will employ a teacher or supervisor that will make a home visit to the families four times a year.

  • The department of education will have the authority to establish regulations to regulate the home school programs and the date on which the uniform exams will be taken.

  • Should the parents not hold a college degree, they must be supervised by a private tutor that must be a certified teacher, or a private school, but the parent must still submit to all of the above requirements as part of the homeschool program requirements. The supervisor must have weekly contact with the homeschool family.

 Other Resources

Testimony in Opposition to HP3048 Before the Puerto Rico Education & Culture Committee

Puerto Rico Homeschooling Rally Scheduled for Thursday

Puerto Rico—Please Help Us Defeat H.P. 3048

Puerto Rico--Legislation Attacks Homeschool Freedom

HP 3048 (pdf)