AEA Reverses Position on Background Checks

The Alabama Education Association is reversing a position it has held for years after a Mobile school administrator is arrested for not registering as a sex offender. It now supports background checks for all public and private schools employees, regardless of how many years they have worked.

A.E.A. legislative liaison Stephen Martin stood with state senator George Callahan just before a Mobile county school board meeting Thursday to announce an agreement on legislation that Callahan will offer in an upcoming session of the legislature.

Since 1999, only new hires have had to go through criminal background checks using fingerprints. If approved, the new legislation would go into effect on October first, 2002. Checks would be done in chronological order, starting with first year employees then proceeding to second year employees and so on. New employees pay forty nine dollars for their background checks. This bill provides the state to play for existing employees.