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11/20/2006 1:43:10 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Puerto Rico Homeschoolers Obtain Great Victory

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Puerto Rico Homeschoolers Obtain Great Victory

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

The 2006 legislative session is over at the House of Representatives
in Puerto Rico, and House Bill 2754, proposed to regulate
homeschooling, was defeated. Homeschoolers lobbying against it have
obtained a great victory and have much to be thankful for. However, it
is still alive for the next legislative session due to a last-minute
technical move.

On Monday, November 6, 2006, H.B. 2754 reached the floor for a vote at
9:30 p.m. Homeschoolers young and old, wearing yellow shirts, had
filled the stands of the ancient hall at the Capitol building since
the early afternoon hours.

The bill was defeated, 27 votes against, with 3 abstentions, and 20
votes in favor, for a total of 30 to 20. Immediately, Representative
Angel Perez, who had always indicated that he would vote for the
legislation and had just voted against it, invoked his right to
request a reconsideration of the voting for this Bill.

The House Speaker, the Honorable Jose Aponte, granted his request, and
the bill remained on the table indefinitely, until a representative
from the House's majority leadership decides to bring it up again for
a vote. The rest of that week, homeschool families attended the House
sessions, until a recess was called for the remainder of this year.

Homeschoolers obtained great victories during this new fight for
freedom and the free exercise of homeschooling in Puerto Rico. Many
families joined the lobbying efforts for months prior to the House
vote by visiting their legislators, writing them via fax and e-mail,
by calling their offices, collecting signatures and submitting
petitions requesting a halt to this new move to regulate. Parents
with babies and small children, homeschooled teens and graduates, and
even relatives of homeschooling families, made their presence known to
the legislators during the weeks preceding the final vote. The effort
was widely publicized, and a good number of legislators were convinced
that this bill would not serve the homeschooling community well.

A coalition of 17 groups across the island joined efforts to defend
their liberties, and will continue to do so when the new legislative
session starts on January 15, 2007. Families have engaged in an
important learning process regarding the work of the Puerto Rican
Legislature, our rights as homeschoolers, and the importance of
working to maintain our basic freedoms. The process has also served
to bring homeschool groups together. We will continue to oppose the
bill and keep you posted.

Homeschoolers in Puerto Rico have many reasons to give thanks to the
Lord this coming Thanksgiving Day. All glory goes to the Lord. The
horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the
Lord. (Proverbs 21:31)

Sincerely

Mike Smith
HSLDA President


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