Condit wants ‘common sense,’ local control in school background checks
CapitolBeatOK Staff Report
State Rep. Donnie Condit said Tuesday (December 28) he plans to introduce legislation that would bring “more common sense” to a state requirement that schools request national criminal background checks on prospective employees.
“I want to be clear that I support background checks on all new hires at any school,” Condit, a McAlester Democrat, said. “The problem is that when Senate Bill 2199 became law, it created unnecessary hardships for substitute and part-time teachers. For example, in McAlester, a substitute only makes $60 a day. The substitute has to pay $55 each year for a background check. This means that a substitute makes almost no money on their first day. I would like to see a one-time background check conducted instead.”
Condit is part of the incoming freshman class of 2011 which consists of 20 members — four Democrats and 16 Republicans.
He noted that after working for 30 years in the McAlester school district, he had to undergo a background check after he came back out of retirement.
“When I retired July 1, I sat out the required 60 days and then went back to work halftime for the district,” Condit said. “I had to have a background check even though I’d been working there for 30 years. It just seemed like the current law could use a little tweaking.”
S.B. 2199 required school districts to request national criminal background checks on any person seeking employment with a school in Oklahoma. Any search required a payment of $50 by the employee or prospective employee to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. The district could then reimburse the employee pending search results.