State of

Released Time Laws and Guidelines for the state of Idaho

STATUTES: Idaho Code

Idaho compulsory attendance law (§33-202) requires that all students ages 7-15 (inclusive) must attend a public, private, or parochial school (§333-119) during a period of time equal to the time when public schools are in session. The only exemptions for cause are impaired mental, physical, or emotional conditions which prevent attendance and which are confirmed by a licensed physician or psychiatrist. There is no express Released Time statute in Idaho.


The State Board of Education allows each local school district to release public school students for the purpose of attending religious instruction.

Such religious instruction must be off school property and the religious institutions must keep records of attendance that must be made available to the public school officials.

CASES: - None


Released Time organizations in the state of Idaho

Christian Education Released Time
Emmett (208) 365-3969

Christian Education Released Time Lost & Found
Boise (208) 321-7440

Declo Christian Education Association

Minidoka Christian Education Association
Paul (208) 438-8660

Released Time


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

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