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3048Ratification Number: 293Act Number: 241Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 20010109Primary Sponsor: CampsenAll Sponsors: Campsen, Littlejohn, Altman, Davenport, Simrill, Delleney, Clyburn, Robinson, Owens, Loftis, Leach, Hamilton, Vaughn, Knotts, BinghamDrafted Document Number: l:\council\bills\skb\18020som01.docDate Bill Passed both Bodies: 20020424Date of Last Amendment: 20010320Governor's Action: SDate of Governor's Action: 20020514Subject: Released Time For Religious Education ActHistory Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ ______________________________________ _______ ____________ ------ 20020603 Act No. A241 ------ 20020514 Signed by Governor ------ 20020508 Ratified R293 Senate 20020424 Read third time, enrolled for ratification Senate 20020410 Read second time, ordered to third reading with notice of general amendments Senate 20010605 Committee report: Favorable 04 SED Senate 20010322 Introduced, read first time, 04 SED referred to Committee House 20010321 Read third time, sent to Senate House 20010320 Amended, read second time House 20010320 Co-Sponsor added (Rule 5.2) by Rep. Bingham House 20010312 Debate adjourned until Tuesday, 20010320 House 20010308 Co-Sponsor added (Rule 5.2) by Rep. Knotts House 20010307 Committee report: Favorable with 25 HJ amendment House 20010306 Co-Sponsor added (Rule 5.2) by Rep. Loftis Leach Hamilton Vaughn House 20010221 Referred to Committee 25 HJ House 20010221 Recalled from Committee 21 HEPW House 20010109 Introduced, read first time, 21 HEPW referred to Committee House 20001206 Prefiled, referred to Committee 21 HEPW Versions of This Bill Revised on March 7, 2001 - Word format Revised on March 20, 2001 - Word format Revised on June 5, 2001 - Word format
(A241, R293, H3048)
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 59-1-460 SO AS TO ENACT THE "SOUTH CAROLINA RELEASED TIME FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION ACT" TO PROVIDE THAT A SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF TRUSTEES MAY ADOPT A POLICY THAT AUTHORIZES A STUDENT TO BE EXCUSED FROM SCHOOL UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS TO ATTEND A CLASS IN RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION CONDUCTED BY A PRIVATE ENTITY.
Whereas, the South Carolina General Assembly finds that:
(1) The free exercise of religion is an inherent, fundamental, and inalienable right secured by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
(2) The free exercise of religion is important to the intellectual, moral, civic, and ethical development of students in South Carolina, and that any such exercise must be conducted in a constitutionally appropriate manner.
(3) The United States Supreme Court, in its decision, Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 (1952), upheld the constitutionality of released time programs for religious instruction during the school day if the programs take place away from school grounds, school officials do not promote attendance at religious classes, and solicitation of students to attend is not done at the expense of public schools.
(4) The federal Constitution and state law allow the state's school districts to offer religious released time education for the benefit of the state's public school students.
(5) The purpose of this act is to incorporate a constitutionally acceptable method of allowing religious instruction to the state's public school students during the school day in released time programs that do not involve the expenditure of public funds to implement the programs. Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. This act may be cited as the "South Carolina Released Time for Religious Education Act".
Excused from school for religious instruction
SECTION 2. Chapter 1, Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 59-1-460. (A) The school district board of trustees may adopt a policy that authorizes a student to be excused from school to attend a class in religious instruction conducted by a private entity if:
(1) the student's parent or guardian gives written consent;
(2) the sponsoring entity maintains attendance records and makes them available to the public school the student attends;
(3) transportation to and from the place of instruction, including transportation for students with disabilities, is the complete responsibility of the sponsoring entity, parent, or guardian;
(4) the sponsoring entity makes provisions for and assumes liability for the student who is excused; and
(5) no public funds are expended and no public school personnel are involved in providing the religious instruction.
(B) It is the responsibility of a participating student to make up any missed schoolwork. However, no student may be released from a core academic subject class to attend a religious instruction class. While in attendance in a religious instruction class pursuant to this section, a student is not considered to be absent from school."
SECTION 3. If any section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this act is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such holding shall not affect the constitutionality or the validity of the remaining portions of this act, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this act, and each and every section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words thereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective.
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Ratified the 8th day of May, 2002.
Approved the 14th day of May, 2002.
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