State of
New Mexico

Released Time Laws and Guidelines for the state of New Mexico

STATUTES: New Mexico

New Mexico compulsory attendance law (§2-12-2) requires that all children, ages 6-16 (inclusive), must "attend a public school, a private school, or a state institution."

New Mexico, in addition, expressly allows Released Time in section 22-12-3. Any student, with the consent of his parents, may be excused from public school in order to participate in religious instruction. The student may not be excused for more than one hour each school day at a time period not in conflict with the academic program of the public school. All excuses are subject to the approval of the local school board. Religious instruction cannot be conducted on school property nor can the local school board or its employees assume responsibility for the instruction.


Each school board has the discretion to establish their own Released Time programs and guidelines.

Released Time organizations in the state of New Mexico

Evangeline Sanfor
Santa Rosa
(505) 472-3546


The first step is to gather as much information as you can about New Mexico'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. You will want to consider models from other states as New Mexico allows up to one hour each day for Released Time religious instruction.

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

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