(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly members L. Grace Spencer and Ralph Caputo sponsored to require background checks for school volunteers is advancing in the Assembly.
“This is common sense,” said Spencer (D-Essex). “If we protect our children by providing background checks for paid staff, we should provide the same protections for volunteers. Schools do a great job of protecting our children, but we know predators try to work themselves into situations involving children, so this extra protection is the smart approach.”
“By far, most school volunteers are dedicated parents and members of our communities, but we know not everyone has the best intentions,” said Caputo (D-Essex). “This extra line of protection for our children is the right thing to do.”
The bill (A-1019) would require any individual who volunteers to provide service on an unpaid basis in a public school district to undergo a criminal history background check in accordance with the same standards and procedures used to conduct such checks on paid school district employees.
Under current law a school district may choose to conduct background checks on volunteers and if it does so then the district must bear the cost of the check.
Under this bill, the volunteer would bear the cost of the check.
The bill was recently released by the Assembly Education Committee. It now goes to the Assembly Speaker, who decides if and when to post it for a floor vote.
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