A new Massachusetts law will require all newly-hired teachers at public and private schools, bus drivers and others working at schools or child care programs with direct unsupervised contact with children, to undergo national background checks before the start of the 2013-2014 school year. This will include the FBI checking fingerprints against a federal database.
Governor Deval Patrick (D) signed the measure into law on January 10. In doing so, he closed a loophole in the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) law. CORI mandated state background checks for teaching positions and certain other jobs, but did not require applicants' fingerprints to be submitted to the FBI. As a result, crimes committed outside the Commonwealth could have gone undetected.
The fingerprint requirement also applies to subcontractors performing work on school grounds. Additionally, it covers all applicants seeking to be adoptive or foster parents.
According to the Associated Press, an indictment against a convicted sex offender accused of allegedly sexually assaulting more than a dozen children at his wife's day care business helped spark passage of the measure.
Recruiting and Hiring > Preemployment Screening and Testing: Massachusetts > New Fingerprint Requirement
Criminal Offender Record Information Policy