State of

Released Time Laws and Guidelines for the state of Arizona

Arizona Released Time Education Contact:

Released Time Education of Sanders Arizona
P. O. Box 375, Sanders AZ 86512

Released Time Christian Education of Tuscon/21 Century & Beyond
440 West Calle Concordia, Tuscon AZ 85737
Director: Charlene Murphy (520) 797-4517
Email: CM1691@aol.xom


Arizona compulsory attendance laws (§ 15-802) require that children, ages 8-15 (inclusive) must attend public school, home school, or a regularly organized private or parochial school for 175 days. A child may also be excused from school if he has presented reasons for nonattendance which are satisfactory to a board consisting of his teacher, probation officer and president of the local School Board (§ 15-8002 (B) (5)).


CASES: - None

Op. Atty. Gen. No. R76-292, p. 11 1, 1976-77

A child may be permitted to be absent from public school for religious purposes as long as consent has been obtained on an annual basis from all teachers, school presidents and probation officers. The total number of days of excused religious absences, however, must be reasonable in order that the exemption for excused absences not be abused.

Released Time organizations in the state of Arizona

Released Time Christian Education of Tuscon/21 Century & Beyond
Tuscon (520)-797-4517 x 13

Released Time Education of Sanders Arizona


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

Contact Us