The Backgrounds of 40,000 Teachers in Kansas are Still Unknown_12328

By Michael Klazema on 3/28/2012

When you entrust your child into the hands of educators, you probably assume those employees are upstanding citizens without criminal histories.  If your child goes to school in Kansas though, you could be wrong.  Although high standards for education and background checking has been initiated for teachers in most states these days as a result of No Child Left Behind, teachers who were already in the education industry were grandfathered into the system with the earlier, less strict requirements.  That means they have not undergone any kind of background investigation to make sure they haven’t committed any crimes, including crimes against children. 

The Topeka Capital Journal reports that approximately 40,000 teachers in Kansas have not been checked.  Due to increasing sex abuse crimes in schools, parents and state education board members are concerned about this number. The Director of Teacher Education and Licensure is pushing for the fingerprinting of all teachers.  Additionally, she would like to see teachers getting background checks every time their teaching license is renewed, which is every five years.  Some are unhappy about the proposal, claiming it to be an invasion of privacy, but because it deals with the safety of children, it’s likely to pass.

While fingerprinting might be a good first step, it doesn’t necessarily catch potential all threats.  Most people are fingerprinted when they are arrested, and the FBI database then relies on the court to provide updates as the case moves forward. But those updates are not guaranteed, and neither is the timing of those updates leaving questions about conviction or dismissal status.  Organizations like schools, that have such important jobs, should make sure they’re using criminal databases that are extensive and constantly updated and can automatically be monitored for updates. After all, if catching criminals before they affect children in schools is really a priority, why wait to check backgrounds every five years, when Ongoing Criminal Monitoring can be performed by background check companies who could then alert them immediately of any criminal activity among their teachers? has access to  more than 355 million records across 600 criminal conviction sources, including sex offender registries.  We also employ a skilled data acquisition team that keeps our records up to date to ensure the highest accuracy possible.   With experience and resources like this, could help schools keep an eye on their teachers, which could alleviate the fears of parents and State Education Board members.


About - - a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) - serves thousands of customers nationwide, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies by providing comprehensive screening services.  Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with an Eastern Operations Center in Chapin, S.C., is home to one of the largest online criminal conviction databases in the industry. For more information about backgroundchecks’ offerings, please visit


Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • June 20 Repeat background checks are becoming more common, with companies in India leading the charge. What does this trend look like, and how can employers embrace it now to stay ahead of the curve?
  • June 19

    Every federal job involves a background check of some kind. These background checks and how they are evaluated vary based on job, department, and security clearance level.

  • June 18

  • June 14 Ban the box laws aim to improve opportunities for employment. Could they have the opposite effect instead?
  • June 13 Jacobs Petroleum Products is a regional petroleum company that operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. Apart from their employees carrying much responsibility and have frequent contact with customers, the company’s hiring also tends to be segmented since individual store managers are responsible for hiring talent for their own stores. In this employment landscape, Jacobs Petroleum Products needed a reliable and effective way to screen its new hires for criminal infractions and other red flags.
  • June 12

    The University of Wisconsin System may tweak its hiring and reference check processes. The potential changes come after one of UW’s assistant deans was accused of sexual harassment.

  • June 07 Stories of abuse by coaches in youth sports leagues continue to crop up around the country, but rules and guidelines remain patchy and enforcement is often lacking. The struggle to implement an effective system continues nationwide.
  • June 07 Financial background checks, usually referred to as credit history checks, can be an effective way to find out if a candidate is fit to handle accounts, financial data, and other assets at your business.
  • June 06 The Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out how willing employers were to hire people with criminal records. The study indicates that managers, HR professionals, and employees themselves are becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with ex-offenders.
  • June 04 Are fingerprint background checks the gold standard for employee screening, or are they overhyped? We look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these checks.