July 15, 2009

Utah school employees to get background checks

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More than 70,000 Utah public school employees must go through additional criminal background checks, but the state Department of Public Safety now says technical difficulties may make those checks take a year or longer, Kirsten Stewart of the Salt Lake Tribune reports. The new screens stem from a legislative probe this spring that found a “flawed and ineffective” system for vetting workers. New rules now state workers must be screened every five years when they renew licenses, and such checks are also now required for non-teaching staff, including bus drivers.

The rule changes came about after state auditors found 49 employees at 32 Utah schools with criminal convictions, including 17 who had felony convictions involving drugs, alcohol, violence, or sex-related crimes.

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