STATEHOUSE – State Representative Eric Koch (R-Bedford) co-authored legislation with Reps. Rhonda Rhoads (R-Corydon) and Steve Davisson (R-Salem) to strengthen school background checks for potential employees. The bill, House Bill (HB) 1160, passed out of the House on third reading with a unanimous vote.
“A more comprehensive national background check gives school administrators more information than a state criminal records check,” said Rep. Koch.
Currently, school corporations can request either a national background check or an Indiana criminal records check. By using a national history background check, the school will have access to criminal history records maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that uses biometric identifiers. The Indiana criminal records check will only retrieve county information based on a person’s legal name. Currently, some states do not allow record access to non-law enforcement entities.
“A person’s fingerprints cannot be changed or altered, unlike social security numbers or other forms of personal identification,” said Rep. Koch. “We want to take every precaution possible to ensure the safety of our students.”
The fees incurred by a national criminal history check will either be paid for by the school corporation or the specific employee. HB 1160 is being sponsored by Sens. Jim Banks (R- Columbia City) and Carlin Yoder (R-Middlebury) in the Senate for further discussion and debate.
To stay up-to-date on bills as they move through the legislative process, visit www.in.gov/legislative.