INDIANAPOLIS | Legislation requiring potential school employees undergo a national background check prior to hiring was approved 9-0 by an Indiana Senate committee Tuesday.
Under current law, school corporations can conduct either an Indiana-only background check or a national check through the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Senate Bill 160, co-sponsored by state Sen. Jim Arnold, D-LaPorte, mandates schools run a national check of criminal and sex offender records and eliminates the option of a state-only check.
Job applicants would pay the estimated $40 cost. Each school corporation decides which findings may disqualify an applicant.
"For a small amount of money we're doing an exceptional amount of safety checking," said state Sen. Tom Wyss, R-Fort Wayne, the other legislative sponsor.
State Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, quizzed Wyss on whether all applicants would have to submit their fingerprints for a national background check.
He said the checks would only be done on job finalists. The Indiana State Teachers Association supports the legislation.