I believe that (Released Time) is the greatest mission that is taking place in our community‚ÄĒreaching out to youths at an impressionable age and giving them a firm foundation for life.  I believe that training young people to live Christian lives will pay huge dividends for our state and nation in the future.  There is no better investment of our time and energy.

Leland Burch, Retired businessman and member of local Released Time Board

District of Columbia

Updated July 2009  
SUMMARY for District of Columbia
General Information The District of Columbia, like many 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 the District of Columbia does not have specific laws regarding Released Time, a Released Time program in the District of Columbia would fall subject to the federal guideposts presented in 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 Children First Information and Referral Center
DC Public Schools

Website: http://www.k12.dc.us/dcps/

DC Education Center: http://educationcenter.dc.gov/ec/site/


DETAILS for District of Columbia
Statutes The District of Columbia compulsory education law requires every parent or guardian of a minor older than five years to old to enroll the minor in public, private, independent, or parochial schooling or private instruction.