ISBE Issues Additional Guidance on Criminal Background Checks

by Franczek Radelet P.C.

[author: Kendra Berner]

ISBE released a Fall 2012 Guidance Document on criminal history records information (CHRI) checks, including direction on two topics that often generate confusion: background checks for student teachers and background checks for contractors that may have “direct daily contact” with students.

Student Teachers

With respect to background checks for student teachers, ISBE intends to seek an amendment to the relevant section of the School Code, Section 10-21.9(g). The Section is currently unclear as to whether the school district or university will conduct the check, what kind of check is required, and under what authority the check can be done. In the mean time, ISBE recommends that the school district to which the student teacher will be assigned conduct a finger-print based Illinois and national CHRI check as well as a check of the Illinois Sex Offender Registry and Illinois Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registry. The student teacher must authorize and pay for the check, and the district must provide the student teacher a copy of the report.

While districts can allow new hires to begin work after simply initiating a criminal background check, the background check of a student teacher must be completed before he/she begins student teaching. As with other employees, the district cannot allow a student teacher to teach if he or she has been convicted of any offense listed in Section 21B-80 of the School Code, which includes narcotics offenses, sex offenses, murder, Class X felonies (e.g., aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery of a child, armed robbery, home invasion, aggravated arson), and sexual or physical abuse of a minor.

The CHRI report on a student teacher may only be shared with the State Superintendent of Education and the State Educator Preparation and Licensing Board. If a district decides to reject a student teaching candidate based on his or her CHRI report, the only information the district can provide to the student’s university concerning the report is whether it includes an offence listed in Section 21B-80 of the School Code.


With respect to background checks for contractors, ISBE does not define “direct daily contact” but leaves the determination to the district in consultation with the contractor. The contractor has the responsibility to make the employees available for CHRI checks, and the district is responsible for reviewing the reports and determining whether any employee has a conviction that would bar him/her from being on campus. The district must provide the employee a copy of the report but cannot share the report with the contracting firm.

Additionally, pursuant to Section 10-21.9(h), school districts must provide, upon request of a school, school district, community college district, or private school, the criminal background check reports of employees of contracting firms that have been obtained in the last year. ISBE recommends that such institutions have policies dealing with sharing these reports to address issues such as staleness, confirming authenticity, and obtaining follow up information.


Districts should also have a policy in place for addressing criminal history that would affect the district’s decision to hire an employee, allow a student to student teach, or allow an employee of a contractor on campus but is not addressed in Section 21B-80. Such a policy is important to ensure that standards are implemented consistently and help avoid charges of discrimination.


Written by:

Franczek Radelet P.C.

Franczek Radelet P.C. on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.