State of

Released Time Laws and Guidelines for the state of Massachusetts

STATUTES: Massachusetts General Laws Annotated

Massachusetts compulsory attendance law (§76-1) requires that all children, ages 6-16 (inclusive), must attend a public day school or some other day school approved by the school committee which meets the number of days required by the State Board of Education.

Section 76-1 also expressly permits Released Time for religious instruction if requested by the student. Absences may be allowed for religious education at specific times established by the local school committee. No public funds, however, may be expended to finance such religious instruction or transportation incidental thereto. Also no more than one hour per week of Released Time may be granted (§76-1).


The structure and specific time period of each Released Time program is to be determined by each local school committee (State Board of Education, phone 617-770-7500).




The first step is to gather as much information as you can about Maine's Released Time statute, what, if anything, is being done with Released Time in the state, and how a Released Time program may address state educational objectives (e.g. self-esteem, values education). Determine who will make the decision whether to allow a program and make an appointment to see that person. If the principal refers you to the school board, you would be wise to meet individually with school board members before presenting the concept at a school board meeting.

Keep in mind that school officials are not required to approve a program. However, with a carefully crafted approach and with statutory recognition, you should expect success in gaining approval for the program.

Information provided by:

The Fellowship of Christian Released Time Ministries

5722 Lime Ave. ˜ Long Beach, CA 90805

Contact Us