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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Teachers decry delay in House on bills to benefit the profession

By The Star Staff

Puerto Rico Teachers Association (AMPR by its initials in Spanish) President Víctor Manuel Bonilla Sánchez and AMPR Local Union Alternate General Secretary Ángel Javier Pérez Hernández denounced on Wednesday the delay on the part of the island House of Representatives in the processing of several bills that benefit teachers.

“At the end of the legislative session, there are still several bills in the House of Representatives that, due to the delay of the House leadership, have not yet reached the hands of Gov. Pedro Pierluisi to turn them into law and advance the interests of thousands of teachers,” Bonilla Sánchez said in a written statement.

Pérez Hernández, meanwhile, stressed that one of the most important and urgent measures is Senate Bill (SB) 1460, which allows the extension of contracts to transitional teachers in categories of difficult recruitment and extends the period so that they can complete the academic preparation requirements to obtain their teaching certification.

“For a long time, the AMPR with its Local Union have raised the need to look for mechanisms that help our teachers who are completing the requirements to obtain teacher certification, especially when there is a real and latent need for teaching staff in our schools,” the union leader said. “It is urgent, especially when we are right in the middle of the recruitment process for the next school year, that this bill becomes law to ensure the job stability of our [colleagues] and the educational system itself. This will allow us to cover the spaces that are missing in schools so that our students receive a holistic, structured and consistent education.”

Other bills awaiting legislative passage to be sent for the governor’s signature are House Bills 1988 and 2038, as well as SB 1384.

“We demand that the speaker, Rafael ‘Tatito’ Hernández, make teachers and public education a priority and complete the legislative process for these bills as soon as possible,” Bonilla Sánchez said.

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