The Connecticut General Assembly
OFFICE OF LEGISLATIVE RESEARCH
September 2, 1994 94-R-0855
FROM: D'Ann Mazzocca, Principal Analyst
RE: School Employees Criminal Record Check
You asked whether the law requires substitute teachers to submit to criminal record checks and, if so, whether substitutes must (1) be fingerprinted for each district that employs them and (2) pay a fee to each district.
Substitute teachers are subject to the law requiring all new school employees to undergo criminal history record checks (PA 93-328, as amended by § 7 of PA 94-221). Because regional educational service centers (RESCs) in most regions of the state have offered to handle the fingerprinting of substitutes for the districts in their regions, people hired as substitutes in districts that use their RESC for this purpose need be fingerprinted only once and thus need pay the required $24 FBI fee only once. Substitutes teaching in several districts that do not use a RESC for this purpose, would have to be fingerprinted for each district that employs them and would probably have to pay the FBI fee each time.
SCOPE OF THE LAW
The law requires everyone hired by a school board after July 1, 1994 to submit to a state and national criminal history record check within 90 days of employment. There is no exception for substitute teachers.
SCHOOL DISTRICT RESPONSIBILITY AND STATE POLICE ROLE
School boards must arrange for the fingerprinting of each person they employ and forward the prints to the State Police Bureau of Identification, which must, in turn, submit them to the FBI for a national criminal history check. The practice of the State Police, upon receipt of the prints and a check to cover the FBI fee, is to forward the prints to the FBI. They do not check to see whether the prints are already on file from another school board's submission. When the State Police Bureau receives the FBI report, it sends the information directly to the school district. The bureau does not retain a copy of the report.
The law does not require school employees to pay the FBI fee, but it allows the school board to pass that charge on to them. The current fee is $24.
ROLE OF RESCs
Some districts are arranging with their RESC to take fingerprints of substitute teachers. The RESCs forward the prints to the State Police, receive the results of the state and FBI record checks, and pass on the results to the employing school district. A substitute teacher working in more than one district in the RESC region would not have to pay the FBI fee more than once.
There is no requirement in the law that RESCs play this role for districts or that districts use their RESC for this purpose. But all RESCs except for Area Cooperative Education Services (ACES) in the New Haven region are already performing the service, and ACES is considering doing so. A meeting is scheduled for September 13 with the districts in the ACES region to discuss this question and make a decision.