Bill Details - HB251 (2019)

HB 251 - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2019 SESSION

19-0319

06/10

 

HOUSE BILL 251

 

AN ACT relative to criminal background checks for education personnel.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Tanner, Sull. 9; Rep. Guthrie, Rock. 13; Rep. Van Houten, Hills. 45; Rep. J. Schmidt, Hills. 28; Rep. Cornell, Hills. 18

 

COMMITTEE: Education

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill requires nonpublic schools and any school receiving public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, to perform criminal history background checks on school employees and designated school volunteers.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

19-0319

06/10

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen

 

AN ACT relative to criminal background checks for education personnel.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Criminal History Records Check; Nonpublic Schools and Schools Receiving Public Funds.  Amend RSA 189:13-a, I through IX to read as follows:

189:13-a  School Employee and Designated School Volunteer Criminal History Records Check.  

I.[(a)]  The employing school administrative unit, school district, [or] chartered public school, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, shall complete a criminal history records check on every selected applicant for employment in any position in the school administrative unit, school district, [or] chartered public school, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, prior to a final offer of employment.  A public academy approved by the New Hampshire state board of education shall submit a criminal history records check on applicants for employment pursuant to this section to the division of state police.  The superintendent of the school administrative unit or the chief executive officer of the chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, may extend a conditional offer of employment to a selected applicant, with a final offer of employment subject to a successfully completed criminal history records check.  No selected applicant may be extended a final offer of employment unless the school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, has completed a criminal history records check.  The school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, shall not be held liable in any lawsuit alleging that the extension of a conditional or final offer of employment to an applicant, or the acceptance of volunteer services from a designated volunteer, with a criminal history was in any way negligent or deficient, if the school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, fulfilled the requirements of this section.

[(b)  A nonpublic school may elect to require a criminal history records check on selected applicants for employment or selected volunteers.  A nonpublic school that elects to conduct a criminal history records check shall comply with the procedures and requirements set forth in this section.]

II.  The selected applicant for employment or designated volunteer with a school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, shall submit to the employer a criminal history records release form, as provided by the division of state police, which authorizes the division of state police to conduct a criminal history records check through its state records and through the Federal Bureau of Investigation and to release a report of any misdemeanors and/or felony convictions and any charges pending disposition for any crimes listed in paragraph V to the superintendent of the school administrative unit or the chief executive officer of the chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly.  The applicant shall submit with the release form a complete set of fingerprints taken by a qualified law enforcement agency or an authorized employee of the school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly.  In the event that the first set of fingerprints is invalid due to insufficient pattern and a second set of fingerprints is necessary in order to complete the criminal history records check, the conditional offer of employment shall remain in effect.  If, after 2 attempts, a set of fingerprints is invalid due to insufficient pattern, the school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, may, in lieu of the criminal history records check, accept police clearances from every city, town, or county where an applicant has lived during the past 5 years.

III.  The superintendent of the school administrative unit or the chief executive officer of the chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, shall maintain the confidentiality of all criminal history records information received pursuant to this paragraph.  If the criminal history records information indicates no criminal record, the superintendent of the school administrative unit or the chief executive officer of the chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, shall destroy the information received immediately following review of the information.  If the criminal history records information indicates that the applicant has been convicted of any crime or has been charged pending disposition for or convicted of a crime listed in paragraph V, the superintendent of the school administrative unit or the chief executive officer of the chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, shall review the information for a hiring decision, and the division of state police shall notify the department of education of any such charges pending disposition or convictions.  The superintendent of the school administrative unit or the chief executive officer of the chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, shall destroy any criminal history record information that indicates a criminal record within 60 days of receiving such information.

IV.  The school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, may require the selected applicant for employment or designated volunteer to pay the actual costs of the criminal history records check.

V.  Any person who has been charged pending disposition for or convicted of any violation or attempted violation of RSA 630:1; 630:1-a; 630:1-b; 630:2; 632-A:2; 632-A:3; 632-A:4; 633:1; 639:2; 639:3; 645:1, II or III; 645:2; 649-A:3; 649-A:3-a; 649-A:3-b; 649-B:3; or 649-B:4; or any violation or any attempted violation of RSA 650:2 where the act involves a child in material deemed obscene; in this state, or under any statute prohibiting the same conduct in another state, territory, or possession of the United States, shall not be hired by a school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly.  The superintendent of the school administrative unit or the chief executive officer of the chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, may deny a selected applicant a final offer of employment if such person has been convicted of any crime, misdemeanor or felony, in addition to those listed above.  The governing body of a school district, chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, shall adopt a policy relative to hiring practices based on the results of the criminal history records check and report of misdemeanors and felonies received under paragraph II.  Such policy may include language stating that any person who has been convicted of any misdemeanor, or any of a list of misdemeanors, may not be hired.  Such policy may also include language stating that any person who has been convicted of any felony, or any of a list of felonies, shall not be hired.

VI.  This section shall apply to any employee, selected applicant for employment, designated volunteer, or volunteer organization which contracts with a school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, to provide services, including but not limited to cafeteria workers, school bus drivers, custodial personnel, or any other service where the contractor or employees of the contractor provide services directly to students of the district, chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly.  The employing school administrative unit, school district, [or] chartered public school, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, shall be responsible for completing the criminal history records check on the people identified in this paragraph.  The cost for criminal history records checks for employees or selected applicants for employment with such contractors shall be borne by the contractor.

VII.  The school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, shall not be required to complete a criminal history records check on volunteers, provided that the governing body of a school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, shall adopt a policy designating certain categories of volunteers as "designated volunteers" who shall be required to undergo a criminal history records check.

VIII.  A school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, or school official acting pursuant to a policy establishing procedures for certain volunteers shall be immune from civil or criminal liability, provided the school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, or school official has in good faith acted in accordance with said policy.  Nothing in this paragraph shall be deemed to grant immunity to any person for that person's reckless or wanton conduct.

IX.(a)  Substitute teachers and other educational staff, not otherwise addressed in this section, shall apply for a criminal history records check at the employing school administrative unit, school district, chartered public school, [or] public academy, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly.  The division of state police shall complete the criminal history records check, as established in paragraph II, and, upon completion, shall issue a report to the applicant.  The report shall be valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and shall constitute satisfactory proof of compliance with this section.

(b)  Upon enrollment in an educator preparation program at an institution of higher education, a candidate shall submit to a criminal history records check.  The institution of higher education in which the candidate is enrolled shall conduct the criminal history records check.  Upon placement of a candidate as a student teacher, the receiving school administrative unit, school district, [or] chartered public school, nonpublic school, or any school that receives public funds for tuition, directly or indirectly, shall conduct another criminal history records check of the candidate and shall follow the same procedures for assessing the candidate's criminal history background as for applicants for employment.  The governing body of the institution of higher education may adopt a policy relative to how often a candidate shall submit to a criminal history records check.  In this subparagraph, "candidate" shall mean a student who is enrolled in an educator preparation program at an institution of higher education in New Hampshire.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 2, 2019 Introduced 01/02/2019 and referred to Education HJ 2 P. 43
Jan. 22, 2019 Public Hearing: 01/22/2019 11:15 am LOB 207
Jan. 24, 2019 ==CANCELLED== Subcommittee Work Session: 01/24/2019 10:00 am LOB 207
Feb. 1, 2019 ==RESCHEDULED== Subcommittee Work Session: 02/01/2019 03:00 pm LOB 207
Feb. 5, 2019 Executive Session: 02/05/2019 10:00 am LOB 207
Retained in Committee

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 22, 2019 House Hearing
Feb. 5, 2019 House Exec Session

Bill Text Revisions

HB251 Revision: 4311 Date: Dec. 27, 2018, 3:53 p.m.