Released Time Laws and Guidelines
State of Alabama
Alabama Released Time Contact:
Bill Richoux (334) 898-7948 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CBM Ministries of Southern Alabama, 363 Victory Circle, Samson AL 36477.
STATUTES: Alabama Code
Alabama's compulsory attendance law (section 16-28-3) requires that all children, ages 7-15 (inclusive), must attend a "public school, private school, church school, or be instructed by a private tutor." Children may be excused from school upon receiving permission from the County Board of Education or County Superintendent of Education (section 16-28-6).
EDUCATION REGULATIONS: (Policy)
There are no formal rules or requirements applying to a released time religious education program.
CASES: - None
ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS: - None
Like your state, many do not have specific laws or guidelines concerning Released Time. The absence of a specific law does not necessarily prohibit Released Time programs. In fact, it may allow a wider range of Released Time programs. For example, it is possible to offer Released Time classes as an off-campus elective class on the High School or Junior High level, which students take daily. This is being done in states such as Georgia, Florida, Utah, Arizona, and Idaho.
The particular challenge in your state is that in the absence of a specific statute, you will need to conduct research into the legal background of Released Time at the federal level (FCRTM can help!), and how decisions are made within your school system. The majority of school districts would require approval at the school board level, but many are moving to "site-based management,' which would perhaps allow individual school principals to approve a Released Time program. Once your research is complete, you will need to approach the appropriate decision-maker(s) with a proposal for a Released Time class.
Even with the Supreme Court decision of 1952 (Zorach vs. Clauson), we must remember that approval for a Released Time program is a privilege, not a right. School principals and school boards may accommodate a Released time program, but they are not required to do so. Experience teaches us that a carefully crafted approach, coupled with a positive relationship with school officials will usually open the doors for a Released Time program.
Information provided by:
The Fellowship of Christian Released Time Ministries
5722 Lime Ave. ˜ Long Beach, CA 90805 ˜ (562) 428-7733
1-800-360-7943 Email Us