Background Check Bill Signed
Posted by Ed Walsh at 1/14/2013
Gov. Patrick Signs Background Checks Bill:Governor Patrick has just signed Chapter 459 of the Acts of 2012, "An Act Relative to Background Checks." This new law expands what public, private, and parochial schools, including approved private special education schools and child care facilities, already do in conducting state CORI checks on all employees at least every three years. It creates a one-time national criminal database check for all school employees and contractor employees. All newly hired school employees, including educators, maintenance staff, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and employees of contractors who work in the schools and may have direct and unmonitored contact with children will be required to complete the new national background check prior to the start of the 2013-2014 school year. Volunteers at schools will only need state CORI checks at least every three years as currently required.
For all current K-12 employees, the law directs the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to adopt regulations that phase in national background checks over three years. Unlike state CORI checks that have no associated fee, individuals will pay a fee to comply with this one-time requirement that ranges from $35 for non-licensed employees to $55 for license-holders. Under the law, school districts may pay these fees, if they so choose, and/or reimburse the cost to employees on the grounds of financial hardship. The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security will design the system to meet this new national background check requirement. ESE will provide further information on this new law as it is developed.