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Ohio House Passes Legislation Providing School Credit Option for Religious Instruction

January 15, 2014
Republican Newsroom

State Representative Jeff McClain (R-Upper Sandusky) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives has passed House Bill 171, which provides schools with the option of awarding credit to students for religious instruction received during released time from school.

The bipartisan legislation, which Rep. McClain is sponsoring with Rep. Bill Patmon (D-Cleveland), would allow for the credit based on criteria that may include hours of instruction, course requirements and materials, methods of assessment and instructor qualifications.

“It makes sense that, not only do many young people wish to take advantage of religious instruction, but that they can conveniently do so and earn credit for their hard work,” Rep. McClain said. “This bill ensures that released time courses in religious instruction remain a viable option to supplement a student’s education.”

House Bill 171 specifies that a student may only be released from school for religious instruction as long as the student’s parent or guardian has given written consent and the course is off school property. In addition, the private entity conducting the course must maintain attendance records that are provided to the school, provide transportation when needed, and assume liability for the student when he or she is excused from school for the purpose of religious instruction.

House Bill 171 will now move to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.