Hawaii compulsory attendance law [HAW. REV. STAT § 302A-1132 (2013)]requires that all children, ages 6-17 (inclusive), must attend public school or private school during the entire school year.
HAW. REV. STAT § 302A-1139 (2013) expressly provides for Released Time programs. If a parent requests in writing that their child be released for religious instruction, the "Department of Education shall provide for the release of and shall release the child from attendance at public school." A child may attend religious instruction for not more than 60 minutes each week, only on such days and during such school hours at the Department designates. Actual attendance at the sessions of the religious instruction shall count as attendance at the public schools.
The Statute includes a warning that the privilege of Released Time will be withdrawn by the Department if it is found that the child is not attending sessions of religious instruction. In addition, no public school teacher may participate in this religious instruction nor may public funds be used directly or indirectly for such religious instruction.
The Legislature has clearly recognized the constitutionality of Released Time programs and has adequately established statutory guidelines for operating such a program.