Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 230

    February Session, 2018

Senate Bill No. 459

Senate, April 4, 2018

The Committee on Education reported through SEN. SLOSSBERG of the 14th Dist. and SEN. BOUCHER of the 26th Dist., Chairpersons of the Committee on the part of the Senate, that the bill ought to pass.

AN ACT CONCERNING THE REGIONAL PROCESSING AND RETENTION OF FINGERPRINT RECORDS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 10-221d of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(a) Each local and regional board of education, [each] governing council of a state or local charter school, [each] interdistrict magnet school operator, [and each] supervisory agent of a nonpublic school and regional educational service center shall (1) require each applicant for a position in a public school with such board, council, [or] operator, [or] nonpublic school with such supervisory agent or regional educational service center to state whether such applicant has ever been convicted of a crime or whether criminal charges are pending against such applicant, (2) require each applicant to submit to a records check of the Department of Children and Families child abuse and neglect registry established pursuant to section 17a-101k, before such applicant may be hired by such board, council, operator, [or] supervisory agent or center, (3) on and after July 1, 2017, require, subject to the provisions of subsection (d) of this section, each applicant for a position to submit to state and national criminal history records checks within thirty days from the date of employment and may require, subject to the provisions of subsection (d) of this section, any person hired prior to said date to submit to state and national criminal history records checks, and (4) require each worker (A) placed within a school under a public assistance employment program, (B) employed by a provider of supplemental services pursuant to the No Child Left Behind Act, P.L. 107-110, or (C) in a nonpaid, noncertified position completing preparation requirements for the issuance of an educator certificate pursuant to chapter 166, who performs a service involving direct student contact to submit to state and national criminal history records checks within thirty days from the date such worker begins to perform such service. The criminal history records checks required by this subsection shall be conducted in accordance with section 29-17a. If the local or regional board of education receives notice of a conviction of a crime which has not previously been disclosed by such person to the board, the board may (i) terminate the contract of a certified employee, in accordance with the provisions of section 10-151, and (ii) dismiss a noncertified employee, provided such employee is notified of the reason for such dismissal. In addition, if the local or regional board of education receives notice of a conviction of a crime by a person (I) holding a certificate, authorization or permit issued by the State Board of Education, (II) employed by a provider of supplemental services, or (III) in a nonpaid, noncertified position completing preparation requirements for the issuance of an educator certificate pursuant to chapter 166, the local or regional board of education shall send such notice to the State Board of Education. The supervisory agent of a nonpublic school shall be responsible for paying the fee charged pursuant to section 29-17a for a state and national criminal history records check required under this section.

(b) If a local or regional board of education, governing council of a state or local charter school, operator of an interdistrict magnet school, endowed or incorporated academy approved by the State Board of Education pursuant to section 10-34, special education facility approved by the State Board of Education pursuant to section 10-76d, or supervisory agent of a nonpublic school requests, a regional educational service center [shall] is authorized to arrange for or conduct the fingerprinting, digitally or otherwise, of any person required to submit to state and national criminal history records checks pursuant to this section or for conducting any other method of positive identification required by the State Police Bureau of Identification or the Federal Bureau of Investigation and shall forward such fingerprints or other positive identifying information to the State Police Bureau of Identification which shall conduct criminal history records checks in accordance with section 29-17a. Such regional educational service center [shall] is authorized to maintain and retain (1) such fingerprints or other positive identifying information, which may be in an electronic format, for a period of four years, at the end of which such fingerprints and positive identifying information shall be destroyed, and (2) the results of state and national criminal history records checks, which may be in an electronic format, for a period of four years, at the end of which the results of such checks shall be destroyed. Such regional educational service [centers shall] center is authorized to provide the results of such checks to such local or regional board of education, governing council of a state or local charter school, operator of an interdistrict magnet school, endowed or incorporated academy, special education facility or supervisory agent of a nonpublic school and to a contractor, in the case of any employee of an applicant contractor subject to such records checks. Such regional educational service [centers shall] center is authorized to provide such results to any other local or regional board of education or regional educational service center upon the request of such person. No regional educational service center shall charge a fee for services under this subsection that exceeds any fee that the center may charge any applicant for a position with such center.

(c) State and national criminal history records checks for substitute teachers completed within one year prior to the date of employment with a local or regional board of education, council, operator, [or] supervisory agent or regional educational service center and submitted to the employing board of education, council, operator, [or] supervisory agent or center shall meet the requirements of subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of this section. A local or regional board of education, council, operator, [or] supervisory agent or center shall not require substitute teachers to submit to state and national criminal history records checks pursuant to subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of this section if they are continuously employed by such local or regional board of education, council, operator, [or] supervisory agent or center, provided a substitute teacher is subjected to such checks at least once every five years. For purposes of this section, substitute teachers shall be deemed to be continuously employed by a local or regional board of education, council, operator, [or] supervisory agent or center if they are employed at least one day of each school year by such local or regional board of education, council, [or] operator or center.

(d) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a student employed by the local or regional school district in which the student attends school.

(e) The State Board of Education shall submit, periodically, a database of applicants for an initial issuance of certificate, authorization or permit pursuant to sections 10-144o to 10-149, inclusive, to the State Police Bureau of Identification. The State Police Bureau of Identification shall conduct a state criminal history records check against such database and notify the State Board of Education of any such applicant who has a criminal conviction. The State Board of Education shall not issue a certificate, authorization or permit until it receives and evaluates the results of such check and may deny an application in accordance with the provisions of subsection (i) of section 10-145b.

(f) The State Board of Education shall submit, periodically, a database of all persons who hold certificates, authorizations or permits to the State Police Bureau of Identification. The State Police Bureau of Identification shall conduct a state criminal history records check against such database and shall notify the State Board of Education of any such person who has a criminal conviction. The State Board of Education may revoke the certificate, authorization or permit of such person in accordance with the provisions of subsection (i) of section 10-145b.

(g) The State Board of Education shall require each applicant seeking an initial issuance or renewal of a certificate, authorization or permit pursuant to sections 10-144o to 10-149, inclusive, to submit to a records check of the Department of Children and Families child abuse and neglect registry established pursuant to section 17a-101k. If notification is received that the applicant is listed as a perpetrator of abuse or neglect on the Department of Children and Families child abuse and neglect registry, the board shall deny an application for the certificate, authorization or permit in accordance with the provisions of subsection (i) of section 10-145b, or may revoke the certificate, authorization or permit in accordance with the provisions of said subsection (i).

(h) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (g) of section 31-51i, the Department of Education shall, upon request of a local or regional board of education, governing council of a state or local charter school, an interdistrict magnet school operator, [or] the supervisory agent of a nonpublic school or regional educational service center, make available to such local or regional board of education, governing council, interdistrict magnet school operator, [or] supervisory agent of a nonpublic school or regional educational service center requesting information concerning an applicant for a position with such board, council, operator, [or] supervisory agent or center (1) any information concerning the applicant's eligibility for employment in a position with such board, council, operator, [or] supervisory agent or center requiring a certificate, authorization or permit issued pursuant to chapter 166, (2) whether the department has knowledge that the applicant has been disciplined for a finding of abuse or neglect or sexual misconduct, as defined in section 10-222c, and any information concerning such a finding, and (3) whether the department has received notification that the applicant has been convicted of a crime or of criminal charges pending against the applicant and any information concerning such charges. The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to cause the department to investigate any such request.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

July 1, 2018

10-221d

ED

Joint Favorable

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill, which makes several procedural changes related to the processing and retention of fingerprint records by regional educational service centers, will not result in a fiscal impact to the state or local and regional boards of education.

The Out Years

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

OLR Bill Analysis

SB 459

AN ACT CONCERNING THE REGIONAL PROCESSING AND RETENTION OF FINGERPRINT RECORDS.

SUMMARY

This bill authorizes, rather than requires, regional educational service centers (RESCs) to perform a number of activities related to fingerprinting and background checks of current and potential employees of public or private schools. Under existing law, unchanged by the bill, RESCs become involved with background checks at the request of local and regional boards of education, charter school governing councils, interdistrict magnet school operators, endowed academies that function as public high schools, state-approved special education facilities, or private schools.

The bill authorizes RESCs to:

The bill requires RESCs to conduct background checks on their own employees and applicants, which the law already requires them to do for employees of magnet schools they operate.

RESCs must also follow the same background check requirements as boards of education when checking substitute teachers.

Finally, the bill requires the State Department of Education to share teacher certification and permit information with RESCs, as it must already do with boards of education and other education employers.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2018

COMMITTEE ACTION

Education Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

36

Nay

0

(03/19/2018)

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