Blog

 
     

Pittsburgh Area School District Makes Updates to Background Check Policies

By Michael Klazema on 11/24/2014

The school board for Peters Township, Pennsylvania has opted to make a few notable changes to background check policies. And thanks to a state law that just recently went into effect, they won't be the last district in Pennsylvania to do so this year.

The Peters Township School District is responding to a recent piece of state legislation that requires schools to update background checks on employees and volunteers every three years. That's a big change over how Peters Township schools were doing things in the past. It used to be that volunteers only had to get a new background check every five years. As for employees, they were allowed to work forever on a single background check: no repeats necessary.

Though it will be costlier for schools, the new state law is a positive one. After all, schools should require repeat background checks for their workers. Not only do regular background checks help to catch new criminal offenses, but they also keep employees and volunteers accountable. In most areas, teachers and school workers are expected to report any new criminal convictions to their employers. Without the promise of a repeat background check, though, some individuals keep their criminal activity quiet. Repeat background checks, then, help to make the honor system more honorable.

Background check updates aren't the only changes stipulated by the new Pennsylvania state law. On the contrary, the legislation also has guidelines about what types of checks schools should be running on certain individuals. For instance, an employee or volunteer who has lived in Pennsylvania for 10 years or longer only has to undergo state police and Department of Public Welfare Checks. These screenings target statewide incidents of criminal history or child abuse charges.

Applicants, employees, or volunteers who recently moved to the state of Pennsylvania, meanwhile, are required to go through more sweeping FBI checks. These nationwide screenings look for criminal history and other charges but on a national level. In other words, lawmakers want to avoid school background check policies that allow criminals to slip through the cracks just because they don't have a record in Pennsylvania. With these new checks, a teacher or school volunteer won't be able to easily leave their criminal histories behind in other states.

The Peters Township School District is just one of many Pennsylvania school districts that will be making background check policy changes this month or next. The new state law requires schools to adopt compatible policies by the end of the year.

Source: http://www.thealmanac.net/article/20141118/NEWS/141119943



Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • December 11 The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General criticized a migrant youth detention center on the border for not running the proper background checks. Federal law requires the facility to screen all employees with FBI fingerprint checks.
  • December 06 In a bid to combat money laundering and illicit funding sources for terrorists flowing through the country's real estate sector, Singapore's government now mandates background checks for buyers purchasing properties prior to development.
  • December 04 What is a reference check? How does it vary from a work history check? We explore these questions and others.
  • December 04 Chicago Public Schools has dismissed hundreds of employees, coaches, vendors, and volunteers based on background check findings. The district recently vowed to re-check the majority of its 68,000 employees after a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed holes in its background check policies.
  • November 29 Striving to create a safer environment more conducive to productive training and leadership development, the Army has recently moved to adopt a uniform policy of background checks for certain roles. 
  • November 27 For hiring managers to verify the information provided on a resume, verification is essential.  Such is the purpose of employment history background checks.
  • November 27 California‚Äôs biggest public school district is waiving the cost of volunteer background checks. The move is meant to encourage more family - and community members to get involved with the school district.
  • November 22 Contractors play an important role in the workforce, delivering services to both individuals and organizations. Vetting contractors for suitability continues to be a challenge, as two recent articles prove.
  • November 21 When it comes to background and pre-employment checks, it can be instructive to look at the characteristics of the ten most massive U.S. employers.
  • November 21

    Verification checks are a powerful way to assess how truthful a job candidate has been on his or her application or resume. These checks can verify work history, education verification, professional licenses, and favorable personal qualities.