Released Time classes are off-site Bible classes offered to public school children during the school day. CBM currently provides Released Time Bible classes to over 18,000 students nationwide. These classes on average meet twice a month at a day and time arranged between CBM and the participating school. The offsite location for the class is typically a local church or other suitable venue.
Federal law permits these classes provided (a) there is parental consent, (b) they are held off school property, and (c) they are offered free of charge to the students and schools. Michigan's compulsory attendance law also makes provision for Released Time Bible classes:
Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 380.1561(3)(e)
A child, however, will not be in violation of compulsory attendance if “the child is regularly enrolled in a public school while in attendance at religious instruction classes for not more than 2 class hours per week, off public school property during public school hours, upon written request of the parent, guardian, or person in loco parentis.”
Schools are challenged each day to prepare students to succeed both academically and behaviorally. How can students develop a strong work ethic so valued in today’s workforce? How can Released Time Bible Education benefit schools?
Morally-based religious education can exist in cooperation with public schools and actually does so without interfering in church and state relationships. Schools can trust Released Time Bible Education (RTBE) leaders to meet the need for regular character education, proven to encourage students to develop internal controls: to be honest, self-disciplined and respectful.
RTBE improves the odds of students’ success, and it doesn’t cost schools anything! Across the country, teachers and school administrators struggle with limited funds to improve students’ academic performance, while they experience pressure from federal and state government to raise test scores... all while managing the classroom. RTBE helps schools by decreasing behavioral issues and increasing academic performance.
RTBE students perform better, have fewer behavioral issues, and thus are much more likely to stay in school than the average student. Parents who want their students to have a moral component to their education may be less inclined to enroll them in private schools or elect homeschool options.
WHAT IS RELEASED TIME?
IS IT LEGAL?
BENEFITS OF RELEASED TIME