Make school hires subject to national check
Thursday, January 17, 2013 10:00 AM
A bill before the state Senate would require new school employees to undergo a national background check, removing the option school districts now have to choose only a state check.
Requiring that new employees go through a national background check can identify problems with the law in the past, even if it's outside of the state.
A national background check won't eliminate the problem entirely, but it should significantly cut down on the number of adults who leave one state after getting into trouble only to settle in Indiana where they might pose a threat to the safety of students.
As the law now reads, school corporations that either hire new employees or contractors who would have direct contact with students are required to do a background check, but the law allows the administration to choose whether the search be through a national database, or a state background check.
The bill appears to have bipartisan backing. State Sen. Tom Wyss, R-Fort Wayne, authored the bill with support from Sen. Jim Arnold, D-LaPorte.
The cost for the check will be taken on by the applicant, adding no additional cost to schools.
The bill received support from school associations and teacher associations. It's a good idea that should move through the legislature with no opposition.