Fingerprinting Teachers in Texas

The next generation in basic background checks, especially for positions that involve interacting with the public, include fingerprinting and a background check by the FBI for an extensive criminal history check. In the Dallas area, teachers have recently been getting fingerprints for background checks, which will allow the FBI to do a more thorough criminal investigation on them. Doing a background check with the FBI allows criminal records in all states, not just a home state, to be searched for all charges, including misdemeanors. Although some may think that this is excessive probing by a school district, anyone who doesn’t comply in Texas will lose his or her job or certification.

According to this article, ten percent of the teachers and school employees in Texas fingerprinted so far have been found to have criminal histories, including 5,000 employees so far with felonies in their pasts. All new hires, in addition, need to be fingerprinted, as well as any substitute teachers or non-certified employees. The cost of the background check is paid for by the employees, who are then reimbursed the $40 cost after the background check is complete.

Basic background checks up to this point rely on a candidate to give his name and all names he or she has been listed under. The name, or names, then allow background check companies or background investigators to look up everything associated with a name or social security number, including criminal histories, residences, employment history, credit, and driving records. If a person has had multiple names or went under an alias before, omitting the name, particularly if it is associated with past crimes, eliminates part of a person’s history.

Although fingerprinting is more invasive, it gives an employer a fuller picture of their job candidate and, by doing a criminal investigation with the FBI, all areas are covered for checking criminal histories, driving records, and other background check facets associated with location.