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

Idaho

Updated July 2009  
SUMMARY for Idaho
General Information Idaho's Released Time statute allows for a student to be excused, with parental permission if the student is under 18, from school to attend religious instruction. No credit can be offered for the completion of this instruction but may be offered for other purposes. This excusal is at the discretionary and not mandatory.

 

Department of Education Website Idaho Department of Education

Website: http://www.sde.idaho.gov

 

DETAILS for Idaho
Statutes

Idaho compulsory attendance law requires that all students ages 7-15 (inclusive) must attend a public, private, or parochial school during a period of time equal to the time when public schools are in session. (IDAHO CODE ANN. § 33-202 (2013) The only exemptions for cause are impaired mental, physical, or emotional conditions which prevent attendance and which are confirmed by a licensed physician or psychiatrist.

Idaho specifically addresses Released Time Programs at IDAHO CODE ANN. § 33.591 (2013). It states:

"Upon application of his parent or guardian, or, if the student has attained the age of eighteen (18) years, upon application of the student, a student attending a public school in grades nine (9) through twelve (12) may be excused from school for a period not exceeding five (5) periods in any week or not exceeding one hundred sixty-five (165) hours per student during any one (1) school year for religious or other purposes. Release time pursuant to this section shall be scheduled by the board of trustees upon application as provided herein and the board shall have reasonable discretion over the scheduling and timing of release time. Release time pursuant to this section shall not reduce the minimum graduation requirements for accredited Idaho high schools. The provisions of this section shall not be deemed to authorize the use of any public school facility for religious instruction. The board of trustees of a school district may not authorize the use of, and public school facilities, personnel or equipment may not be utilized, to maintain attendance records for the benefit of release time classes for religious instruction. No credit shall be awarded by the school or school district for completion of courses during release time for religious purposes. At the discretion of the board credit may be granted for other purposes.