Do I need to fingerprint and background contractors and volunteers who work in schools?

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There is always a controversy around fingerprinting employees and volunteers that work in schools.  Let’s face it, you need to do it.    California Education Code governs the fingerprinting of those who work and volunteer in schools.  AB 1025 of 2009/2010 solidified the issue of fingerprinting by requiring it for certain volunteers, but still missed a big issue.  AB346 of 2009/2010 finally cleaned up the mess by requiring it for any volunteer involved in a pupil activity program.

The sections of code governing volunteers, contractors, and students volunteering are Education Code 35021, 49024 and 45125.   Section 49024 allows for a district to bypass the ASCC requirement by requiring an FBI and DOJ fingerprint check.  The key here is you must require both the FBI and DOJ fingerprinting.  This will cost an estimated additional $27.

Section 35021 allows you to background check your volunteer aides.

Ed. Code Section 45125 and Section is 45125.1(d) address contractors who may be left alone with students.  It also provides for methods other than fingerprinting in the event you do not want to place fingerprinting requirements on contractors.  You may use methods such as physical barriers to prevent contact with students.

45125.1.  
   (d) A school district may determine, on a case-by-case basis, to
require an entity providing schoolsite services other than those
listed in subdivision (a) or those described in Section 45125.2 and
the entity's employees to comply with the requirements of this
section, unless the school district determines that the employees of
the entity will have limited contact with pupils. In determining
whether a contract employee will have limited contact with pupils,
the school district shall consider the totality of the circumstances,
including factors such as the length of time the contractors will be
on school grounds, whether pupils will be in proximity with the site
where the contractors will be working, and whether the contractors
will be working by themselves or with others. If a school district
makes this determination, the school district shall take appropriate
steps to protect the safety of any pupils that may come in contact
with these employees. If a school district requires an entity
providing services other than those listed in subdivision (a) and its
employees to comply with the requirements of this section, the
Department of Justice shall comply with subdivision.
45125.2.  (a) A school district contracting with an entity for the
construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or repair of a school
facility where the employees of the entity will have contact, other
than limited contact, with pupils shall ensure the safety of the
pupils by one or more of the following methods:
   (1) The installation of a physical barrier at the worksite to
limit contact with pupils.
   (2) Continual supervision and monitoring of all employees of the
entity by an employee of the entity whom the Department of Justice
has ascertained has not been convicted of a violent or serious
felony. For purposes of this paragraph, an employee of the entity may
submit his or her fingerprints to the Department of Justice pursuant
to subdivision (a) of Section 45125.1 and the department shall
comply with subdivision (d) of Section 45125.1.
   (3) Surveillance of employees of the entity by school personnel.
   (b) An entity that contracts with a school district for the
construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or repair of a school
facility is not required to comply with the requirements of Section
45125.1 if one or more of the methods described in subdivision (a) is
utilized.
35021.  (a) Notwithstanding any other law, any person, except a
person required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Section 290
of the Penal Code, may be permitted by the governing board of any
school district to perform the duties specified in Section 44814 or
44815, or to serve as a nonteaching volunteer aide under the
immediate supervision and direction of the certificated personnel of
the district to perform noninstructional work which serves to assist
the certificated personnel in performance of teaching and
administrative responsibilities. With respect to this
noninstructional work, the nonteaching volunteer aide shall serve
without compensation of any type or other benefits accorded to
employees of the district, except as provided in Section 3364.5 of
the Labor Code.
   (b) No district may abolish any of its classified positions and
utilize volunteer aides, as authorized herein, in lieu of classified
employees who are laid off as a result of the abolition of a
position. A district shall not refuse to employ a person in a vacant
classified position and use volunteer aides in lieu of filling the
classified position.
   (c) It is the intent of the Legislature to permit school districts
to use volunteer aides to enhance its educational program but not to
permit displacement of classified employees nor to allow districts
to utilize volunteers in lieu of normal employee requirements.
35021.1.  A school district or county office of education may
request that a local law enforcement agency conduct an automated
records check of a prospective nonteaching volunteer aide in order to
ascertain whether the prospective nonteaching volunteer aide has
been convicted of any sex offense as defined in Section 44010. A plea
or verdict of guilty, a finding of guilt by a court in a trial
without jury, or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere
shall be deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of this
section. If the local law enforcement agency agrees to provide that
automated records check, the results therefrom shall be returned to
the requesting district or county office of education within 72 hours
of the written request. A local law enforcement agency may charge a
fee to the requesting agency not to exceed the actual expense to the
law enforcement agency.

35021.2.  (a) When a school district or county office of education
pursuant to Section 11105.3 of the Penal Code requests from the
Department of Justice records involving criminal offenses committed
by a prospective volunteer, the school district or county office of
education may request that the Department of Justice provide
subsequent arrest notification service pursuant to Section 11105.2 of
the Penal Code. The Department of Justice shall comply with a
request made pursuant to this section.
   (b) This section also applies to a person, firm, association,
partnership, or corporation offering or conducting private school
instruction on the elementary or high school level that requests,
pursuant to Section 11105.3 of the Penal Code, records involving
criminal offenses committed by a prospective volunteer.
49024.  (a) Prior to assuming a paid or volunteer position to work
with pupils in a pupil activity program sponsored by a school
district, all noncertificated candidates shall obtain an Activity
Supervisor Clearance Certificate from the Commission on Teacher
Credentialing pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 44258.7.
   (b) A pupil activity program sponsored by a school district
includes, but is not limited to, scholastic programs, interscholastic
programs, and extracurricular activities sponsored by a school
district or school booster club, including, but not limited to, cheer
team, drill team, dance team, and marching band.
   (c) Volunteer supervisors for breakfast, lunch, or other
nutritional periods pursuant to Sections 44814 and 44815, and
nonteaching volunteer aides, as defined in Section 35021, under the
immediate supervision and direction of certificated personnel of the
district, shall not be required to obtain an Activity Supervisor
Clearance Certificate. For purposes of this section, a nonteaching
volunteer aide includes a parent volunteering in a classroom or on a
field trip or a community member providing noninstructional services.
   (d) Candidates may be issued a temporary certificate in accordance
with Sections 44332 and 44332.5 while the application is being
processed.
   (e) This section does not apply to a candidate who is required by
the school district to clear a Department of Justice and Federal
Bureau of Investigation criminal background check prior to beginning
the paid or volunteer activities described in subdivision (a).
   (f) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2010.

 

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