Archive for Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kansas Department of Education wants fingerprints of about 40,000 teachers

April 14, 2011, 10:33 a.m. Updated April 14, 2011, 1:29 p.m.


— The Kansas State Department of Education wants to add security measures for its schools, including fingerprinting about 40,000 educators who were licensed before 2003.

Pam Coleman, director of teacher education and licensure for the department, told members of the Kansas State Board of Education on Wednesday that the 40,000 teachers and administrators received their state department licenses before 2003, when fingerprints and background checks became required for a new license.

"We do have to get everyone fingerprinted who is not," Coleman said. "I think we can do that in a practical way."

She also said more regular Kansas Bureau of Investigation background checks and enrollment in the bureau's Rap Back program are needed, according to The Topeka Capital-Journal. Coleman and KSDE attorneys said they want background checks conducted every five years when a teacher applies for license renewal.

Coleman and KSDE legal staff said the stricter regulations are designed to have offenses that could lead to the revocation of a teaching license reported sooner to KSDE.

Representatives for the state's teacher union, however, said changes to the current regulations aren't needed if superintendents and county district attorneys would report arrests sooner and more consistently to the education department as required by law.

"We want immediate reporting," said Peg Dunlap, director of instructional advocacy at the Kansas National Education Association. "We believe that such timely and contemporaneous notification is vastly preferable to a fingerprint-background check every five years."

Board chairman Dave Dennis, of Wichita, said he supports the proposed requirements.

"I served my country for 29 years, and I had to get fingerprinted to do that," he said. "I don't see a problem with someone getting fingerprinted. If you haven't done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about."

Board members are expected to take up the proposed changes in June when Coleman said she will provide more details on how KSDE proposes to enforce the suggested changes.


Tara Painter 7 years, 1 month ago

They should of did this years ago, we don't know who is teaching our kids, can't believe what teachers do these days, a huge jump over the last five to ten years.

ks1950 7 years, 1 month ago

I knew who was teaching my kids by going to Meet The Teacher night, Parent Teacher Conferences, and many field trips. FSHS SR. 2009 and SR. 2011 This seems like another way to scare people and another attempt to do away with Public Education. 3,000,000 Jews of 1930s Germany didn't do anything wrong either.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 1 month ago

Why limit the background checks to teachers? If they are really that necessary (and effective?) fingerprint everybody at birth, and tattoo foreheads while we're at it.

jhawkinsf 7 years, 1 month ago

When I bought a bar, I had to get fingerprinted. When I bought a second bar, I had to get fingerprinted again, even though my first set of prints were in a file cabinet not ten feet away. Wanna guess what happened when I bought my third bar? Each time they were done, I had to pay for them to process the prints. For the sake of honesty, though, this was not in Kansas.

deec 7 years, 1 month ago

Perhaps they should fingerprint and do background checks on religious leaders as well. Seems like there's a heck of a bigger problem with criminals running around in religious organizations than in schools. I wonder which private contractor/campaign contributor is wanting to get into the background check business? They should also do background checks/fingerprinting on everyone who serves in local, state and federal government. And university athletic department staff.

BigPrune 7 years, 1 month ago

WIth the epidemic sexual abuse coming from teachers against our children, this is long overdue.

ks1950 7 years, 1 month ago

Glad to see folks read this. Oh, I also talked with and listened to my kids. As a staff member at my church for many years and a Scout leader for 2 years I was required to have a background check and training. I saw this training as a great way to protect the staff and leaders in these times of over zealous paranoia. Fingerprinting is for criminals not people who educate children or are people now guilty until proven innocent? It is easier to get and carry a gun in Kansas than become a teacher. Is this suppose to make us all feel safer? People need to take responsibility for themselves and their loved ones. An education or a gun? LOL

ks1950 7 years, 1 month ago

Wouldn't scare real teachers but may scare you. However, one will be OK if their vote counts in Kansas. Only 3,000,000 people in the state.

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