Connecticut Working to Expedite Background Checks for Teachers

By Michael Klazema on 5/21/2015

As things currently stand in Connecticut, new teachers can sometimes wait up to 30 days for their employment background checks to clear. That lengthy waiting time leaves prospective employees in limbo while they wait for their background check reports to come back, and the worst part is, they might not even get the job. For some teachers in search of new jobs, this wait time can be a cause of economic hardship; for others, it's just a source of frustration. Some school districts even allow teachers to start work before their background check reports come back, a risky proposition that could put students in danger.

The good news is that Connecticut's 30-day wait time might soon be a thing of the past. The state legislature is considering a bill that would drastically expedite the process of teacher background checks. The legislation would give all school boards in the state a period of five days to perform teacher background checks. That's not to say that newly hired teachers would be working within a week after receiving a conditional job offer. Background checks take time, especially those run through state databases, and Connecticut's school boards don't really have the power to cut through backlogs or make that part of the process any faster. What the bill would accomplish would be to make sure that background checks are submitted within a few days of hiring or job offer. It would put pressure on both employer and applicant to submit to background checks as soon as possible, and would apply a sense of urgency to the process where there really isn't any urgency right now.

From the looks of it, the legislation is going to have no trouble making its way to the desk of Governor Dannel Malloy. The bill recently received unanimous approval from the Connecticut House of Representatives, with the vote 139-0. It will now head to the State Senate for a second vote, and then on to the desk of the governor. The new background check bill comes after several struggles with corruption and sour hires in Connecticut, particularly in the capital city of Hartford. In 2014, for instance, FUSE, a charter school company based in Hartford, shut down when news broke that its director was a convicted felon who had served prison time and lied about his academic credentials. Worse, the CEO hired a number of felons to work at charter schools operated by his company, one of whom allegedly stole nearly $10,000 from school accounts for her own personal gambling purposes.


Industry News

Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • March 20 Employers who use E-Verify must follow the proper steps and procedures when they receive a “tentative non-confirmation notice” from either the Social Security Administration or Department of Homeland Security. Failure to follow the proper procedures can cost employers both time and money. 
  • March 20

    Four Department of Commerce employees are out after their background checks resulted in security clearance denials. All four had worked high-ranking positions for months despite incomplete background checks.

  • March 15 As more states legalize the recreational use of cannabis, they contend with the emergence of new industries surrounding marijuana cultivation and production. 
  • March 14 In most cases, it is easy to determine where an issue might show up on a pre-employment background check. Citations for traffic violations or reckless driving charges will appear on a motor vehicle record check. Verdicts in a civil court case will show on a civil court background check. And criminal convictions—from petty theft to violent felonies—show up on criminal background checks.
  • March 13 How many years back do employment background checks go? This question can have multiple different answers depending on the situation.
  • March 13 A new bill in Florida would require landlords of apartment complexes to present tenants with verifications of employee background checks to give them peace of mind the people working in and around their homes are trustworthy.
  • March 08 Police officers working with the University of Texas at Arlington recently arrested a man who had avoided police capture on a warrant out of Oregon for nearly two decades. The man, whose real name is Daniel Charles Ray Hanson, spent those 17 years using a variety of fake names and identification documents to move around the country, often engaging with educational institutions under false pretenses. Police say Hanson regularly went by at least three different aliases. He sports a rap sheet that stretches back to an arson conviction in 1995. 
  • March 07

    The Future of EEOC Guidance in Texas Is Up in the Air

    The EEOC issued guidance in 2012 warning employers about the dangers of enforcing categorical policies to bar candidates with criminal histories. That guidance is not enforceable in Texas thanks to a recent court ruling.

  • March 05 Vermont is the latest state to restrict employers’ access to and use of social media accounts of employees and applicants. 
  • March 01 In an age of "industry disruptors" turning established business models on their heads, companies such as Uber and Lyft rely on a unique workforce of individuals outside the traditional employer-employee context. Uber calls them "partners" while other businesses refer to them as "independent contractors," the official classification these individuals use for tax purposes. Recently, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) revealed they had warned a business, Postmates, for misclassifying their staff as independent contractors. In the NLRB's determination, these individuals were employees.