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

Georgia

Updated July 2009  
SUMMARY for Georgia
General Information Georgia, 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 Georgia does not have specific laws regarding Released Time, a Released Time program in Georgia 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 Georgia Department of Education

Website: http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/

 

DETAILS for Georgia
Statutes Georgia's compulsory attendance statute requires that all children, ages 6-16 (inclusive), must attend public school, private school, or a home study program. [GA. CODE ANN. § 20-2-690.1 (2013)]

A child must be excused from attendance in public school by county or independent school system boards "in accordance with general policies and regulations promulgated by the State Board of Education" [GA. CODE ANN. § 20-2-693]. Under this statute, a child may possibly obtain permission to be excused from public school in order to receive religious instruction.

Georgia Code