State Audit Finds Gap In Teacher Background Checks
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A new state audit shows that teachers with criminal records and histories of child abuse continue to work with children. State law bans such offenders from the classroom, but State Auditor Susan Montee reports that criminal background checks by Missouri education officials are inadequate. She says that's because of imprecise language in the law and unclear guidelines to local school districts. The law also requires background checks using the state Family Care Safety Registry, which includes documented reports of child abuse and other red flags. Only about 8 percent of prospective teachers are registered with the state Family Care Safety Registry.