Law & Courts A Washington Roundup

House Panel Weighs Bill On School Background Checks

By Caroline Hendrie — October 08, 2004 1 min read

School leaders from Nevada and Virginia were among experts who testified at a congressional hearing last week on legislation that would penalize states that declined to share information for criminal-background checks of prospective school employees.

Rep. Jon C. Porter hedshot

Introduced by Rep. Jon C. Porter, R-Nev., the proposed Schools Safely Acquiring Faculty Excellence Act, or SAFE Act, would direct the Department of Education to withhold funding from states that did not have systems in place for sharing such records. States would have to provide data on arrests, charges, or convictions relating to felonies or other crimes involving violence, drugs, or sexual abuse dating back 15 years.

Rep. Porter wants more states to join the 21 that have ratified the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact, a system governing the interstate exchange of criminal records, Adam Newberry, a spokesman for the congressman, said.

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