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Teacher background checks clarified (new law)

Published (5/29/2009)
By Kris Berggren
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The Board of Teaching may now disclose to school boards or administrators more of what’s included in a teacher’s disciplinary record, if one exists, and requires those hiring to ask for that information.

A new law requires candidates for a teaching position to provide information in their employment application regarding any history of disciplinary actions by the board, or any similar disciplinary history from other states. Those hiring must ask the candidates for that information.

The board is required to release data relating to the substance of the disciplinary action. This could include sexual misconduct or attempted sexual misconduct, or misconduct of another nature. It excludes failure to pay court-ordered child support, spousal support or delinquent state taxes.

Prospective teachers will also undergo a criminal history background check.

The law, sponsored by Rep. Karla Bigham (DFL-Cottage Grove) and Sen. Kathy Saltzman (DFL-Woodbury), is effective May 20, 2009.


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