New Law Requires Parent Volunteers to Have Background Checks

A state law, which went into effect in July, amended provisions of the Child Protective Services Law and requires as many as three background checks of school volunteers. Area educators and parents say they hope the clearances, one of which costs nearly $30 to obtain, do not limit parent involvement. All agree that the new requirements make students safer. School safety is our No. 1 goal, said Scott Pentasuglio, principal of Riverside Elementary West in Taylor. You can’t argue with school safety. Under Act 15 of 2015, volunteers responsible for children’s welfare or who have direct volunteer contact  with children at a school, meaning the care, supervision, guidance, or control of children and routine interaction with children must have background checks. In some cases, those checks also come at a cost for parents. However, some school districts have created policies that are stricter than the law.

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