What is a Teacher Background Check?

teacherverification July 31, 2012 0

Wise Geek

A teacher background check is a procedure that provides educational institutions more information about an applicant or prospective teacher. The information gathered through the investigation includes criminal records, driving records, past employment records, civil records, educational certification, health and medical records, current and previous addresses, credit history, court records, criminal records, and bankruptcies, among others.

Teaching may be one of the few professions where experience and professional history are as closely scrutinized as personal history. An educational institution carries out a teacher background check as part of its pre-screening process to guarantee the safety of the students. This procedure is legally mandated in the 50 states of the USA. Individual persons such as parents can also hire agencies to do background checks.

For a new teacher, or one in a new district, the application process includes several elements that enable a complete teacher background check. Drug and alcohol tests are not uncommon, for example. Calling references provided and checking on previous work experience is also something that will be done as part of a teacher background check. Especially in public school districts in the United States, fingerprints are usually taken and submitted to a national organization, like the FBI, for checking.

Many private agencies offer teacher background check services as well. The latest ones are websites that provide quick, correct, and comprehensive results displayed in an instant. Prices depend on how extensive the check is; the more the information produced, the higher the fee. These services require a degree of specificity to make sure they’re checking on the right person. Thus, certain agencies and websites will provide limits and boundaries to their investigation.

There are three options usually offered for background checks. First is the standard background check, which provides publicly available information. Second is the criminal background check, which combines the standard background check with current criminal records from the state or states where the applicant has recently lived. Last is the background check with a national scope, which combines the standard and criminal background checks with broader, national information.

As earlier mentioned, the teacher background check is legally mandated in all 50 U.S. states. The states have broadly varying standards, however. It is important for the parents themselves to take action and ask the school some basic questions such as: does the school require criminal background checks on their professors, teachers, and instructors? Are the background checks also done for old faculty members or just for new hires?

A teacher background check is not the only kind of background checking. They can be carried out for any kind of employee, whether in the government or private sector. Landlords also use background checks to screen prospective tenants.

This artilce originally appeared on Wise Geek

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