Secrets of the Job Hunt


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Background Checks on Educators Delayed

Background checks(Click here) are not only to protect employers from making bad hiring decisions. In many cases such investigations help to keep safe all that come in contact with an employee, which is why they are particularly important in educational setting. If school administrators neglect to or are unable to conduct a thorough background check, students are potentially at risk.

Due to a backup at the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, many school districts in the state are experiencing problems receiving background checks on teachers this year.

According to Newark City Schools Personnel Director Cara Riddel, state law is now requiring that many certificated employees submit their fingerprints to both the BCI&I and the FBI by Friday.

She went on to say that approximately 80 percent of teachers and administrators already did so in March. This year there is a greater number of teachers and administrators having to submit to background checks due the fact the addition of investigations on educators with permanent or eight-year licenses has been added to the normal five-year license checks.

Despite the backlog, Jennifer Brindisi, a spokesperson for the BCI&I, says that the agency should be able to process the remainder without to much more of a delay.

Brindisi says that the BCI&I is all but caught up. "We're working as efficiently as we can," she said.

The bureau is able to process around 20,000 background checks a day, however this figure is subject to the complexity of the investigation in question and the offenses discovered. The increase in the number of checks required has caused the bureau to take as long as 30 days to process some of the fingerprints submitted.

"It's not as quick as what people hoped," said Brindisi.

For the most part, the delay is not expected to effect the school districts to any large degree. If an investigation does yield proof that one of the individuals who submitted their fingerprints is not suited to be around students due to a criminal past, things could get complicated.

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