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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco completes employee background checks



Pasco officials recently finished reviewing all employees' backgrounds to see whether anyone might need to go because of a long-ago criminal offense. They found no one who fit the bill.

"We were not required to take any action against anyone," employee relations director Terry Rhum told the Gradebook. "There is no one who works in the district that has ever been found guilty of any of those disqualifying events. We're clean."

Florida lawmakers adopted a new law, which took effect July 1, listing 49 criminal offenses that now are grounds for firing -- even if the action took place decades ago.

Most districts complained about having to look into their workers, with several superintendents wondering whether the retroactive nature of the requirement is legal. Without hearing otherwise, they embarked on the reviews. Now that the bulk of the work is over, they'll just have to keep tabs on whether any workers get arrested in the future.

With employee fingerprints on file with the state and FBI, Rhum said, that won't be too tough: "If anybody gets arrested in the state of Florida, we get a hit on that within 24 hours."


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:55am]


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