About 3,000 Colorado school district employees have been or will be told they must get new criminal background checks after a routine FBI audit found incomplete records in the state’s licensing database.
The state Department of Education began sending out letters about 18 months ago requesting that educators with incomplete files submit new fingerprints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation so new background checks can be conducted. Some educators have done so, but department officials said they haven’t tracked that number and don’t know how many remain. The educators include teachers, principals, administrators and other kinds of staff.
The letters encourage recipients to submit fingerprints within three months, but require them to do so before renewing their state licenses, which are good for one, three, five or seven years depending on the type.
Of the 3,000 educators who had incomplete files, some were missing state background checks, some were missing federal background checks and some were missing both. State officials say background checks were conducted for the employees, but for unknown reasons the results didn’t transmit to the education department’s database. This was discovered only during a 2015 FBI audit.
“This is more record-keeping than anything,” said Colleen O’Neil, the department’s director of teacher licensing.
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