Indiana lawmakers looking at strengthening background checks for teachers

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("Bremen High School - 2016" by Historic Bremen, CC BY 2.0)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State lawmakers are proposing legislation they say will help strengthen Indiana’s system for running background checks for teachers.

The Indianapolis Star reports that the proposals come after an investigation it conducted with the USA Today Network that found gaps in the state’s screening process.

The bills propose to make background checks more routine and reduce the delay between a completed screen and an employee’s start date. Current law allows a three-month window for background checks to be completed, but House Bill 1079 would shorten that window to one month.

Mike Brown is legislative affairs director for the state schools superintendent, Jennifer McCormick. Brown says completing background checks prior to hiring a teacher could cause an “undue burden on our school systems.”

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