I compare Released Time to the parable of Jesus concerning the seed and the sower.  Everyday our teachers sow the seed of God’s word and it does not return void.

J. E. Ellenburg, Retired denominational association minister


Updated July 2009
SUMMARY for Massachusetts
General Information The first step is to gather as much information as you can about Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts Department of Education

Website: http://www.doe.mass.edu/


DETAILS for Massachusetts
Statutes Massachusetts compulsory attendance law requires that all children, ages 6-16 (inclusive), must attend a public day school or some other day school approved by the school committee which meets the number of days required by the State Board of Education. MASS. GEN. LAWS ch. 76, § 1

§ 76-1 also expressly permits Released Time for religious instruction if requested by the student. Absences may be allowed for religious education at specific times established by the local school committee. No public funds, however, may be expended to finance such religious instruction or transportation incidental thereto. Also no more than one hour per week of Released Time may be granted (§76-1).