Aug 15, 2018


The state of Iowa school system has received a lot of attention recently, and rightfully so. The Iowa House passed senate bill 338 that will require all public school districts to conduct background checks on all employees and potential new hires.

The bill requires a school district to review the Iowa state sex offender registry, the Iowa state central registry for dependent adult abuse, the Iowa state central registry for child abuse, and the Iowa court information system. The bill also the school district to follow the same procedure every five years from the hiring date for employees hired on or after July 1, 2013.Iowa School Employee Background Checks

This bill comes after last year in Conrad school district, located in central Iowa, a teachers aide was fired after the school district received an anonymous tip and learned the aide had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the torture and death of a 16-year-old girl 47 prior.

Although the new bill requires a background check it does not require a “full comprehensive background check.” Has the bill stands now Iowa school district will be only required to check for Iowa criminal records and sex offender registry along with the Iowa child and adult abuse registries. The bill is a step in the right direction but falls short when looking into an applicants complete past.

For example, if Conrad school district had performed the new required bill for the Iowa background check, they still would have not have seen the teachers aide voluntary manslaughter charge. This is because the aide was convicted in Indianapolis, Indiana. This shows why it is necessary for the Iowa school districts to perform a comprehensive background check and search for criminal history from the applicants past jurisdictions.

Now some Iowa school districts are already performing a comprehensive background check on all employees that will search for criminal records outside the state of Iowa if the applicant has lived in jurisdictions outside the state of Iowa. What about the Iowa school districts that are only conducting the required check in the senate bill 338? 3rd Degree Screening believes this a risk Iowa school districts should not take.

3rd Degree Screening can help Iowa school districts find information on applicants past by conducting a Social Security Number Trace & Address History Locator. This searches over a billion records from hundreds of sources including multiple credit headers. Validates the SSN against published sources to help identify keypunch errors and applicant fraud. Confirms the approximate state and year of issuance and runs SSN against the SSA Death Master File. The search also uncovers addresses, alias and maiden names spanning up to 30-year period.

3rd Degree Screening then analyzes the information and conducts a search for county criminal or statewide county criminal records with the name(s)/alias name(s) associated with the jurisdictions found in the Social Security Number Trace & Address History Locator. Conducting these searches ensures proper due diligence is being performed and gives the best chance to finding any criminal records about an applicants past.

Just because the required bill requires a background check for Iowa criminal records and registries does not mean these Iowa school districts shouldn’t conduct a more comprehensive background check. A third party background screening company, like 3rd Degree Screening-an Iowa based background screening company, can assist in conducting these comprehensive background checks. 3rd Degree Screening discounts our services for Iowa school districts because we believe schools should be a safe environment for students and staff.

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