State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) 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 would allow for the credit based on criteria that may include hours of instruction, course requirements and materials, methods of assessment and instructor qualifications.

“The religious credits earned cannot be substituted for core curriculum coursework,” Rep. Hill said. “It is important to me to know that students seeking to further their own religious instruction can now be afforded that opportunity.”

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.

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