- Allison Goldsberry
A new law signed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick requires fingerprinting and national criminal background checks of all school employees, according to a state press release.
All new school hires for the 2013-2014 school year- including teachers, bus drivers, and subcontractors- must be fingerprinted and have a national criminal background check conducted. All current school employees must have this done before the 2016-2017 school year, according to information released by the Governor.
Medford and other school districts routinely performed Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) background checks on employees, but CORI’s, as they are commonly referred to, only cover crimes committed in Massachusetts.
“Every child in Massachusetts should be able to go to school knowing that they have a safe and secure space to learn and grow,” said Education Secretary Paul Reville in a statement. “I want to thank Chair Peisch and all of our partners in the Legislature for their work on this important bill that will help us better protect both children and adults in schools and early education and care settings across the Commonwealth.”
The new law also gives state investigators access to the results of state and federal criminal background checks for purposes of investigating licensure issues or alleged misconduct by school employees.