Background Check Fingerprinting and Criminal History Background Checks
Child Protection Act of 1999(Amended July 1, 2002) • The goal is to maintain the welfare and best interest of the children of Alabama • Requires ABI/FBI criminal history background check on public/non-public school personnel • Requires ABI/FBI criminal history background check for candidates for admission to State-approved teacher education programs
Criminal History Background Checks are Required EVEN If the Individual… • has been fingerprinted by another state agency • has been determined suitable or issued a license or certificate from other states • has been fingerprinted and cleared for employment with a law enforcement agency • has been fingerprinted and cleared for service in the U.S. Military • has been fingerprinted and cleared for the purposes of serving as a foster-parent or adopting a child
Logistics of Fingerprinting www.cogentid.com/AL 1 (866) 989-9316 • Cogent Systems, Inc. is the third party contractor approved for the State of Alabama Department of Education • The Cogent Web site provides useful information for both the employee and employer • Registration and fee payment are available online or by telephone • Registration tracking feature is available for LEAs and IHEs on the Web site • Fingerprint locations are listed on the Web site • FAQs are listed on the Web site
Conducting The Background Review Evidence of Completed Background Checkhttps://tcert.alsde.edu/Portal/Public/Pages/SearchCerts.aspx Status Evidence Suitability letter, Conviction letter, Teacher Certification Portal Issuance of substitute license Teacher Certification Portal Suitability letter Teacher Certification Portal Issuance of professional certificate Teacher Certification Portal Suitability letter Teacher Certification Portal Classified employee Substitute applicant Student Intern Certified applicant Private School (classified employee)
Things to Remember • Encourage applicants to verify all information during fingerprint registration with Cogent. Errors in reporting information may lead to serious delays. • Route questions or concerns regarding Cogent to firstname.lastname@example.org. • An individual’s file is considered confidential until a determination is completed. • Encourage potential employees/students to submit information regarding their criminal history at the time of fingerprinting. • Send court certified copies of the case action summaries showing the judgments, convictions, and sentencing or other outcome of all cases. • Send notarized, personal explanations regarding the circumstances surrounding all cases. Include the dates involved, the places of conviction, and any other factors that should be considered. • Please make sure that substitute applications and fees are sent to our office promptly. • The Teacher Certification Portal is official verification of an individual’s background status.
Fitness to Teach • Factors considered in determining whether a conviction bears a reasonable relationship to the fitness of a current employee or applicant include: • 1. The likelihood that the conduct may adversely affect children or fellow employees. • 2. The degree of such adversity anticipated. • 3. The proximity or remoteness in time of the conduct. • 4. The type of certificate held by the individual, if applicable. • 5. Any extenuating or aggravating circumstances surrounding the conduct. • 6. The praiseworthiness or blameworthiness of the motives resulting in the conduct. • 7. The likelihood of the recurrence of the questioned conduct. • 8. The extent to which disciplinary or employment action may inflict an adverse impact or chilling effect upon the constitutional rights of the individual or other employees. • 9. Any other factor that is relevant to determining whether the individual is fit to have unsupervised access to a child or children.