SENATE, No. 2921

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MAY 14, 2015

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† M. TERESA RUIZ

District 29 (Essex)

Senator† JAMES BEACH

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Requires employees of private entity with access to student information under contract with DOE, school districts, or charter schools to undergo criminal background check.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning criminal history record checks, amending P.L.1998, c.31, and supplementing P.L.1986, c.116 (C.18A:6-7.1 et seq.).

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† (New section)† a.† The Department of Education, a school district, or a charter school shall not contract with a private entity for services which involve access to student information, including the monitoring of student social media activity, unless the employees of the private entity who will have access to student information demonstrate that no criminal history record information exists on file in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Identification Division, or the State Bureau of Identification which would disqualify that individual from employment in the public schools of this State pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1986, c.116 (C.18A:6-7.1 et seq.).† No criminal history record check shall be conducted without the individualís written consent to the check.† The applicant for the criminal history record check shall bear the cost of the check, including all costs for administering and processing the check.

†††† b.††† The Commissioner of Education shall apply the same requirements, procedures, and standards and shall proceed in the same manner as is prescribed in P.L.1986, c.116 (C.18A:6-7.1 et seq.) for determining whether the applicant would be qualified or disqualified for employment in the public schools.† Upon receipt of the criminal history record information, the commissioner shall inform the applicant of his determination in writing.† The commissioner shall also provide written notification to the board of education or the charter school board of trustees.† The Department of Education, school district, or charter school shall not enter into a contract with the private entity if the criminal history record check of any employee who has access to student information, including the monitoring of student social media activity, reveals a record of conviction for any crime or offense enumerated in section 1 of P.L.1986, c.116 (C.18A:6-7.1).

 

†††† 2.††† Section 13 of P.L.1998, c.31 (C.18A:6-7.2a) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 13.† The Commissioner of Education is authorized to:

†††† a.††† receive all criminal history data necessary to complete the criminal history records check as required pursuant to P.L.1986, c.116 (C.18A:6-7.1 et seq.) [and], section 6 of P.L.1989, c.104 (C.18A:39-19.1), and P.L.††† , c.†††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), or as permitted pursuant to P.L.1989, c.229 (C.18A:6-4.13 et seq.);

†††† b.††† receive all data in accordance with section 3 of† P.L.1986, c.116 (C.18A:6-7.3), section† 6 of P.L.1989, c.104 (C.18A:39-19.1) and section 3 of† P.L.1989, c.229 (C.18A:6-4.15), on charges pending against an employee or school bus driver who has previously undergone a criminal history records check; and

†††† c.††† adjust the fees set by the Department of Education for the criminal history records checks.

(cf: P.L.2002, c.119, s.5)

 

†††† 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill provides that the Department of Education, school districts, and charter schools may not enter into a contract for the services of a private entity, which services will involve access to student information, including the monitoring of student social media activity, unless the employees of the private entity who will have access to student information undergo a criminal history records check.† Under the bill, the Commissioner of Education will apply the same requirements, procedures, and standards, and proceed in the same manner as established under the criminal history records check law for public school employees in determining whether an individual would be disqualified from having access to student information.† The individual will pay for the cost of the background check.† The department, school district, or charter school will not be permitted to enter into a contract with the private entity if the criminal history record check of any employee who has access to student information reveals a record of conviction for any disqualifying crime or offense.