As the culture becomes darker and darker, Released Time Bible Education becomes more and more important.  We are now reaching out to a generation of children who have no compass for right and wrong and are Biblically illiterate…a generation that is unchurched yet hungers for answers.  Now more than ever our public schools are ripe for harvest as a mission field and Released Time fills that need.


Finn Laursen, Executive Director of large teachers’ association

Montana

Updated July 2009  
SUMMARY for Montana
General Information The first step is to gather as much information as you can about Montana'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.

 

Department of Education Website Montana Department of Education Services

Website: http://opi.mt.gov/

 

DETAILS for Montana
Statutes Montana compulsory attendance law requires that all children, ages 7-15 (inclusive); must attend public school unless the child is enrolled in a nonpublic school or home school. MONT. CODE ANN. §20-5-102 and MONT. CODE ANN. §20-5-103

MONT. CODE ANN. §20-1-308 provides that trustees of elementary or high school districts may allow Released Time for religious instruction. Several conditions for lawful operation of Released Time programs are delineated in this section.

1. Parents of the child must request permission annually from the Board of Trustees in order to have their child released to attend religious instruction.

2. The amount of time released time is to be determined by the trustees of the school district.

3. Religious instruction must take place off of public school property.

4. No public funds can be used to finance such religious instruction.

Released Time is considered part of the school day and week for the purpose of the Code and the released may not adversely affect student attendance records.