Mandatory Background Checks

Images 1

School districts are required to conduct comprehensive background checks before offering employment to any individual. This includes teachers, administrators, support personnel, part-time, substitute and contract employees. School districts must conduct subsequent background checks at least every five years on the anniversary of the school employee’s initial date of hire.  Districts may not charge employees for the cost of these background checks.

Teachers and Administrators

Initial Contracts with Teachers and Administrators

Before entering into an initial contract with a teacher who holds a standard license through the Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE), districts must conduct a background check that includes:

  • a review of an applicant’s state criminal history through the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI),
  • a review of an applicant’s national criminal history through a fingerprint analysis conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI,)
  • a review of sex offender registry information,
  • a review of child abuse registry information, and
  • a review of dependent adult abuse registry information

School districts may charge the applicant a fee not to exceed the actual cost of the background checks.

New Teachers and Certified Staff Renewals

For all certified staff seeking an initial license or renewal of their licenses, the BOEE is required to review:

  • sex offender registry information,
  • child abuse registry information, and
  • dependent adult abuse records.

School Bus Drivers

Before hiring a school bus driver, including a contract position, school districts must review:

  • information in the Iowa court database,
  • sex offender registry information,
  • child abuse registry information, and
  • dependent adult abuse registry information.

Districts must follow the same procedures when renewing school bus driver’s license, which is required by the Iowa Department of Transportation to legally operate a school bus.

Authorization to Conduct a Background Check

The Indianola CSD uses an outside vendor to conduct its employee background checks. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) considers background check information obtained by outside vendors to be “consumer reports” subject to the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

The FCRA requires that applicants/employees be notified that background check information may be used to make decisions relating to their employment.  The district must also obtain written permission from the applicants/employees to conduct outside vendor background checks.  The district must certify that it has notified applicants/employees and obtained their permission to obtain background check information, complied with all FCRA requirements and will not discriminate against applicants/employees or otherwise misuse the information obtained through the background checks.

Applicants/employees are encouraged to review  A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Release and Authorization Form

Applicant Release and Authorization to Conduct a Background Check