Jump directly to the content

Churches and Released Time Programs for Public Schools

Steps for developing and maintaining a constitutionally sound effort.

Churches and Released Time Programs for Public Schools

The role of religion in public schools is a hotly debated topic and one that state and federal courts address regularly. At issue, of course, is the First Amendment's prohibition of government-sponsored religion. Per the United States Supreme Court, the First Amendment mandates that many religious activities remain absent from public schools.

Nevertheless, via a program known as "released time," public school students may receive religious instruction during the school day. Put simply, through released-time programs, religious institutions like churches may, with parental permission, provide instruction off campus to public school students for a set amount of time each week.

Background and Constitutionality

Although released-time programs have existed since the early 1900s, two mid-twentieth-century United States Supreme Court decisions—Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 (1952), ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • April 26, 2013

Related ResourcesVisit Store

50-State Religious Freedom Laws Report
50-State Religious Freedom Laws Report
A review of state laws and court decisions affecting church leaders.
Pastor, Church & Law, Fifth Edition
Pastor, Church & Law, Fifth Edition
Learn which local, state, and federal laws apply to religious organizations.