|You Won’t Believe This…|
There’s a new law on the books, and it’s a good law: Massachusetts will now join the other 49 states and require teachers and other school personnel who have the “potential for unsupervised contact with children” to have their fingerprints matched with a federal database. There are many good reasons for the state to take action, albeit belatedly, along these lines. All children must be safe and secure. And we support any effort that will help insure our students’ safety.
So what’s the rest of the story? Teachers and other school personnel are being asked to pay a fee of up to $55 to enroll in the fingerprint program. We kid you not.
“..The applicant shall pay a fee, to be established by the secretary of administration and finance in consultation with the secretary of public safety and security and the commissioner, to offset the costs of operating and administering a fingerprint-based criminal background check system, provided that the fee shall not exceed 55 dollars for employees who are certified pursuant to section 38G and shall not exceed 35 dollars for employees who are not certified pursuant to section 38G, provided further, that said fee may increase accordingly if the federal bureau of investigations increases its fee for fingerprint background check services. The school committee, superintendent or principal may reimburse applicants all or part of the fee on grounds of financial hardship…”
Here’s the new law in its entirety. All of the above is negotiable, so stay tuned.