Released Time Laws and Guidelines
State of Oklahoma
||STATUTES: OKLAHOMA STATUTES ANNOTATED
Oklahoma compulsory attendance law [§70-10-105 (a)] requires that all children, ages 7-17 (inclusive), must attend "some public, private, or other school, unless other means of education are provided for the full term" of the local public schools.
There are not statutes that expressly permit or prohibit Released Time for religious instruction for public school students.
However, section 70-10-105 (a) (4) does allow a child who is a member of the Jewish faith to be excused from attending school on Jewish holidays.
EDUCATION REGULATIONS (Policy):
Each school district has the authority to excuse children for Released Time religious instruction (State Board of Education, phone: (405) 521-3301).
CASES: - None
ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS: -
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.
Released Time organizations in the state of Oklahoma
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