HSLDA Media Release
December 19, 2002

HSLDA EXPRESSES OPPOSITION TO PROPOSED HOME SCHOOLING BILL

For immediate release
December 19, 2002
Contact: Rob Zeigler
(540) 338-8663 or robert@hslda.org

Home School Legal Defense Association is working to defeat H.P. 3048, a proposed new law for home schooling in Puerto Rico.

The organization is encouraging home schoolers and anyone else who cherishes civil liberties, to

attend the hearing before the Education and Culture Committee on November 6, 2002, at 1:00 P.M. in San Juan.

HSLDA, a national organization with 77,000 member families in the United States, is coordinating its effort to stop the bill with several home school leaders in Puerto Rico, including

attorney Carlos Perez-Sierra and veteran home schooler Jose Curet. The organization is urging every home school family to work against the bill, and it has attracted interest from home schooling families all over the U.S.

The following is a list of requirements that will be imposed on home schoolers 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 home school student will be evaluated by way of an interview annually by licensed psychologist or teacher certified by the state.

  • The home school 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 take uniform annual examinations created, approved, provided, administered and supervised by the board and the department of education.

  • The home school board 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 home school program requirements. The supervisor must have weekly contact with the home school family.

HSLDA President Michael Smith pledged to help local families in the struggle to keep home schooling free.

"Home schooling in Puerto Rico has been legal under the "non-governmental entity school exemption," Smith said. "This has worked well for families in Puerto Rico. There is no reason for change. This legislation is an attack on the fundamental freedom of parents in Puerto Rico to direct the education of their children, and we will do whatever we can to defend them."