All the miseries and evils which men suffer from – vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war—proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.


Noah Webster, Father of American Scholarship and Education

Delaware

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

Website: http://www.doe.k12.de.us/site/default.aspx?PageID=1

 

DETAILS for Delaware
Statutes The Delaware compulsory attendance law requires that all children, ages 6-15 (inclusive), must attend public school unless the "child is elsewhere receiving regular and thorough instruction" DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 14, § 2702-03 (2013).

The Delaware Code - Title 14 Education: http://delcode.delaware.gov/title14/index.shtml

 

Attorney General Opinion of the Attorney General 64-034, September 4, 1964

The Attorney General has stated,

"Upon written request of parents, students may obtain released time for religious exercises or instruction off of the school premises. Those students not securing Released Time would remain in school. The School Board may determine when such Released Time may be allowed (p.118)."

The opinion also emphasizes that Released Time programs are Constitutional because it involves no State sponsorship of religion nor is the State antagonistic toward religion. Released Time does not violate the position of "neutrality" required of the State on matters of religion.