The Indiana House has passed a bill strengthening criminal background checks for school employees. Some districts are concerned about cost.
School corporations are already required to do background checks on potential hires. The new law would add a mandatory check of sex offender registries in all 50 state, which is a check Brown County Schools Assistant Superintendent Dennis Goldberg says his district already does, in addition to documenting an applicant’s residency.
“We really feel that is a key component of our due diligence that is an absolute expectation by law,” he says.
“It’s an absolute expectation by our school community in Brown County that we do a thorough background check on individuals,” Goldberg said. “We try to do it in a variety of different ways that gives us some assurance that we haven’t missed anything along the way, and again there’s no system that’s completely fail-safe,” he adds.
But, Goldberg warns the changes will cost some corporations more than they currently spend to hire new staff.
In a statement, Bedford State Representative Eric Koch says Indiana needs a stricter background check policy than a state records check currently affords.
If passed, the bill would go into effect July 1.