Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Teacher Background Check Proposal Passes House Committee

Currently, state law only requires that districts background check school personnel as they are being hired. (flakeparadigm/Flickr)

Currently, state law only requires that districts background check school personnel as they are being hired. (flakeparadigm/Flickr)

All Indiana teachers would have to undergo a criminal background check every five years under a legislative proposal gaining momentum at the Statehouse.

On Tuesday, the House Education Committee unanimously approved House Bill 1079 which tightens policies on background checks.

Rep. Jeffrey Thompson (R-Lizton) sponsored the bill.

“Current law says it must be done in a three-month window,” says Thompson. “We are going to change that to say it must be done before the school year starts.”

But there will be exceptions. Thompson says teachers hired right before classes start could begin working while a background check is conducted.

The bill would also require the Department of Child Services to tell schools if staff or volunteers have been cited for child abuse or neglect.

Local school districts will decide whether the teacher or corporation will pay for background checks.

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