I was really surprised when I realized many of the students in the classes did not go to church!  Most of these kids heard about Released Time and had a genuine longing to find out about Jesus Christ…and I see Him moving in their lives every day!


Released Time Teacher, Coastal School Ministries

Texas

Updated July 2009  
SUMMARY for Texas
General Information Texas, like many other states does not have specific laws regarding Released Time. However, this does not necessarily prohibit Released Time. In fact, it may allow a wider range of Released Time programs. Since Texas does not have specific laws regarding Released Time, a Released Time program in Texas would fall subject to the federal guideposts presented in McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203 (1948), Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 (1952), and Grand Rapids School District v. Ball, 473 U.S. 373 (1985).

In summary, the above cases present three general requirements for Released Time programs: 1) The state cannot fund Released Time directly or indirectly. This prohibits not only funds themselves but also any support or benefit from anything purchased or anyone compensated by state funds; 2) Released Time programs cannot take place on school premises; and 3) Participation in Released Time programs must be voluntary. There cannot be any coercion, encouragement, or discouragement on the part of any school official. However, these three points are not exclusive. One should conduct thorough research on the latest federal and state case law to see whether your state or federal circuit has its own case law supplementing the requirements in McCollum, Zorach, and Ball.

 

Department of Education Website The Texas Education Agency

Website: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/sboe/

 

DETAILS for Texas
Statutes

The Texas compulsory attendance law requires that all children, ages 6-18 (inclusive), must attend public schools or a a private or parochial school which shall include in its course a study of good citizenship. A school district must excuse a student from attending school for the purpose of observing religious holy days if the parent, beforehand, submits a written request for the excused absence. TEX. EDUC. CODE ANN. § 25.085-87 (2013)