Blog

 
     

Indiana Legislative Committee Wants Repeat Background Checks for Teachers

By Michael Klazema on 1/29/2017
A bill pending in the Indiana legislature could change the way that schools throughout the state complete background checks and ongoing criminal monitoring for teachers. Per a recent report from the Associated Press, the bill has been unanimously endorsed by a “legislative committee” within the Indiana General Assembly. Next, the proposal will be considered and voted on by the General Assembly.

If passed, the bill would require teachers throughout the state to go through repeat background checks after every five years of employment, coverage explains. Right now, state law requires schools to run background checks on teachers at the time of hiring but does not have any stipulations about repeat checks or ongoing criminal monitoring. The proposal would apply to public, private, and charter schools in Indiana.

Supports state that the goal behind the legislation is to keep children safer. Per a report from WBAA, a public broadcasting station in Indiana, the state’s Department of Education has 85 open investigations about “alleged educator misconduct.” Roughly 40 of those cases involve allegations about teachers having inappropriate (and sometimes sexual) relationships with their students.

Senator David Kruse, one of the big proponents of the new background check proposal, thinks that more frequent screenings for teachers could help prevent misconduct. He argued that an applicant with a clean background at the time of hiring wouldn’t necessarily look the same after five years. “You may have made some wrong decisions and the school doesn’t know about it,” he explained.

In addition to providing an ongoing monitoring system to keep teachers accountable, the new legislature would get background checks on record for longtime teachers, reports explain. Indiana passed its teacher background check law in 2009. Some teachers who were hired before that may have never gone through background checks, supporters note: the law passed in 2009 made sure that those longtime educators were “grandfathered in” rather than requiring schools to complete background checks. If this new proposal is passed into law, it will apply to every teacher whether they were hired before or after 2009.

Despite the focus of the bill on protecting kids and creating safer school environments, the legislation has elements that could draw ire from educators, reports explain. According to the AP brief on the legislative proposal, there is a chance that teachers would have to pay for their own background checks.

Sources:

http://www.tribtown.com/2017/01/24/in-xgr-teacher-background-checks/

http://wbaa.org/post/background-check-proposal-aims-prevent-sex-crimes-schools#stream/0

Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • February 21 — In January, a Washington, D.C. contractor was fired for being reckless with confidential patient files. The woman had a criminal record with two felony convictions, but a local background check did not list the offenses.
  • February 16 — A state representative in Wisconsin aims to make it a Class A misdemeanor to lie on a state application for professional licensing. It is illegal to lie on licensing applications but there is no protocol for prosecuting offenders.
  • February 14 — The schools in the University of Wisconsin System are considering criminal background checks for all student applicants. The deliberation was sparked by protests responding to a student on the UW-Madison campus who tried to start a white nationalist group.
  • February 09 — Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed an executive order banning the box in the state government’s executive branch.
  • February 01 — A startup in New York is offering to help customers move large, cumbersome cargo with its Uber-style startup. The company claims it is vigilant about running background checks on all drivers, reviewing driver’s licenses, driving records, and criminal records.
  • January 29 — An Indiana legislative committee recently gave its unanimous support to a proposal that would shift the way teacher background checks are done in the state. The proposal would require teachers to go through background checks every five years.
  • January 26 — Washington, D.C. has become the latest city to ban the use of credit checks for most employers. Employers will be exempted from the new law in seven situations but will still be expected to comply with the FCRA.
  • January 24 — A school district in Omaha, Nebraska is facing criticism for how it has managed, overseen, and collaborated with its busing contractor. A recent audit reported that the school district has no process in place to ensure that all contracted drivers have completed background checks and requisite training.
  • January 23 — The University of Illinois expanded its background check policy to include all employees last year. One year into the policy, the university is looking back at the statistics.
  • January 20 — Portland Public Schools is looking at its background check policies after two cases of overlooked criminal information. The district recently offered the job of general counsel to an attorney with a previous conviction for violating public records law.