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


Updated July 2009  
SUMMARY for Alabama
General Information Alabama, 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 Alabama does not have specific laws regarding Released Time, a Released Time program in Alabama would fall subject to the federal guideposts presented in McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203 (1948), People of Illinois ex rel. McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203 (1948) and Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 (1952).

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 and Zorach.


Department of Education Website Alabama Department of Education

Website: http://www.alsde.edu/


DETAILS for Alabama
Statutes Alabama's compulsory attendance law requires that all children, ages 7-15 (inclusive), must attend a "public school, private school, church school, or be instructed by a private tutor." Ala. Code § 16-28-3 (2013) Children who meet certain qualifications may be excused from school upon receiving permission from the County Board of Education or County Superintendent of Education Ala. Code § 16-28-6 (2013). However, Alabama law explicitly states that its attendance laws are not to deny any child their rights under the U.S. Constitution, which includes their right to freely exercise their religion. Ala. Code § 16-28-44 (2013)

The Code of Alabama, Section 16-28: http://law.onecle.com/alabama/education/16-28-1.html