Indiana Pushing for Better Background Checks for Teachers
January 28, 2013
It’s easy to reason that conducting employee background checks in schools is important, but it’s even more vital to consider the type of background check being done. Every school district or organization has different policies and many are finding that they need to tighten their processes to prevent the wrong employees from slipping through the cracks.
For example, a search for criminal records might only be completed in the current county where the applicant resides. However, EmployeeScreenIQ has found that 8% of records are discovered in a county that was found in the national criminal database search. Imagine the criminal records that are missed when additional counties are not added to a background check.
Indiana has proposed a bill that will require a national criminal history background check for anyone applying for a teaching position-and if you haven’t guessed, that would mean more criminal hits will be found. Previously, a criminal record search for these applicants was conducted only within the state of Indiana; but according to Representative Sheila Klinker, this is not enough. Many applicants might have a record in another state and these records are missed due to limited background checks.
The new process will require a national criminal record search, which may not reveal the details of the criminal record found in a different state, but the findings from the national criminal database give the employer a red flag as to which county to search for the record. On the other hand, you should also keep in mind Nick’s recent post, There’s No Such Thing As a “National Background Check” It’s important to note that while employers can run this search, it’s always better to do a criminal record search at the local level, in the county where the applicant lived.
It’s also interesting to view Indiana’s legislation in light of a story we posted in October about a teacher who had a criminal record of manslaughter in Indiana. In this case the record was not found until after she was already working for the school district in Iowa. It’s possible that her case is just one of many in which the record was not found because the school district did not search for records beyond her current state of residence, proving again the importance of searching the national criminal database.