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Date:
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10/24/2002 12:43:18 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Puerto Rico--Legislation Attacks Homeschool Freedom

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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October 24, 2002


Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

On October 9, 2002, the worst homeschooling law in the history of
home education was introduced into the House of Representatives of
Puerto Rico. H.P. 3048, submitted by Representative Garcia Caban, has
been referred to the Education and Culture Committee for
consideration.

It appears that whoever drafted this legislation picked out the worst
provisions of the worst homeschool laws in the United States and
incorporated them.

REQUESTED ACTION

1. Please immediately contact your territorial organization or local
support. Networking with like-minded homeschoolers is crucial at this
time.

2. Monitor the Home School Legal Defense Association website for up-
to-date information regarding H.P. 3048.

3. Be prepared to attend the hearing before the Education and Culture
Committee on November 6, 2002, at 1:00 p.m. in San Juan. We will
provide more detailed information on how we should organize for that
hearing in future emails.

4. Pass the email on to any of your friends and family who are
homeschoolers or who may be concerned about family freedom in Puerto
Rico.

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.

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 stopping 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.

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

- The homeschool 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 homeschool program requirements. The
supervisor must have weekly contact with the homeschool family.

OPPOSE H.P. 3048

Homeschooling in Puerto Rico pursuant to the "non-governmental entity
school exemption" has served Puerto Rico well. 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. It
will be up to us to make the argument for freedom to the Puerto Rico
Legislative Assembly.


Very truly yours,

Michael Smith
President of HSLDA
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