Monday, June 20, 2011

Applying for Teaching Jobs - Criminal History Record Checks

State laws mandate that individuals seeking employment as full-time or substitute teachers in public or private schools undergo a state and national criminal history record check. When you apply for teaching positions, you will need to learn about the state, school and district criminal history record check requirements and then undergo the necessary Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and/or FBI checks.

What information is required for a BCI check in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, teachers are required to undergo a BCI criminal history record check. You can apply for a BCI criminal history record check through the State of Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office. You will present a copy of photo identification containing the date of birth (for example, a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued identification), completed authorization form, and a check for $5. BCI criminal history record checks are conducted using the subject’s name, date of birth, and social security number. You will need to include any maiden names for former names. Fingerprinting is not required for a BCI check in Rhode Island.

When do you initiate the process in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, if you have not been employed for the past 12 months you need to initiate the criminal history record check process one week within employment. The report of BCI check is valid for 12 months and needs to be renewed if not employed full-time by a private or public school.

Is the requirement for criminal history record check the same for all states?

No. State laws differ in their requirements. For instance, in Ohio, licensed educators need both BCI and FBI criminal history record checks when they apply for and renew teaching certifications. In Ohio, you cannot use criminal history record check reports from another state. Both BCI and FBI checks are required because the FBI does not collect information about certain crimes that are reportable under state law. All FBI record searches require a set of fingerprints for processing the record check. Trained personnel at local law enforcement agencies take the fingerprints. The law enforcement agency may charge a separate fee for fingerprinting services.

Since state laws differ, contact the state certification office, school or district where you are applying to learn about requirements for criminal history record checks.

When you complete the required checks and receive an official BCI and/or FBI report, indicate on your résumé that you’ve completed the criminal history record checks and the date(s). When you go to a teaching job interview, include in your printed hiring portfolio a copy of the official report(s).