SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

SENATE, No. 1210

 

with committee amendments

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED: †MAY 23, 2016

 

†††† The Senate Education Committee favorably reports Senate Bill No. 1210 with committee amendments.

†††† As amended, under this bill, candidates for employment with a school district and employees of a contracted service provider, including school bus drivers, who are required under current law to undergo a criminal history record check also will be required to undergo a child abuse record information check.† The child abuse record information check will be conducted by the Department of Children and Families, which maintains the Stateís child abuse registry pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1971, c.437 (C.9:6-8.11).† The bill requires the candidate for employment or service to provide prior written consent for the child abuse record information check and to pay for the cost of the check.† In the case of a school bus driver, the child abuse record information check will be required prior to initial employment and upon application for renewal of a school bus driverís license.

†††† If the Department of Children and Families determines upon a search of its child abuse registry that an allegation of child abuse or neglect has been substantiated against the candidate, the candidate will be permanently disqualified from employment or service with a school district.† In the case of a school bus driver, the individual would also be ineligible to operate a school bus.

†††† In addition, the bill will require child abuse record information checks for employees of a school district or a contracted service provider who are already employed on the effective date of the bill in positions that require a criminal history record check as a condition of employment.† The Department of Children and Families will establish a schedule for conducting the child abuse record information checks of current employees and will complete the checks within five years of the billís effective date.† If the department determines upon a search of its child abuse registry that an allegation of child abuse or neglect has been substantiated against a current employee, the employee will not be eligible for continued employment, and will be permanently disqualified from employment or service with a school district.

†††† The bill will also require youth camp employees and candidates for employment with a youth camp to undergo a child abuse record information check conducted by the Department of Children and Families.† The youth camp employee or candidate must provide prior written consent for the check and pay for the cost of the check.† If the department determines upon a search of its child abuse registry that an allegation of child abuse or neglect has been substantiated against the employee or candidate, the individual will be permanently disqualified from employment with a youth camp.

††††† The committee amended the bill to add a provision requiring the Commissioner of Children and Families to adopt regulations to implement the provisions of the bill including, but not limited to, regulations establishing deadlines, processing times, fees, and limitations on information disclosure.