Background Checks Taking Longer, Costing More

Randy Decker, executive director of human resources for Edmond Public Schools, said the turn-around time for background checks is taking much longer than it should and the checks are costing much more than they have in the past. Senate Bill 2199 passed in 2010 mandated that national criminal history record checks (fingerprints) on all new school employees in Oklahoma be done through the State Department of Education, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In a letter sent to Oklahoma legislators, Decker said, “While we applaud the Legislature’s efforts to protect our school children, this bill negated an already existing efficient procedure for most school districts and replaced it with a cumbersome, expensive and inefficient process that does not, in its current form, protect students as well as the previous process.” “When our background checks were done by a third-party vendor we spent between $18 to $30 for each one,” Decker said. “The processing charge is now $45 plus $10 for the fingerprinting for a processing time of four to six weeks, and a $58 processing fee can be paid for a two- to four-day turnaround.

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