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Senate | May 24, 2016 | Chamber | Senate Session Higher Education

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[BLANK_AUDIO] Karen knows the answer to this. >> So 13 years of age is the age that under other federal laws that deal with child online protection 13 is the age which a student can consent and then log on to websites and things like that so because that was the age in federal law that was tracking that benchmark of where federal law has put for students to consent. >> Thank you. >> Thank you and said I said that was the last question I yield. >> Senator Barringer. >> Thank you. >> I wanna recognize you for the last question. >> Thank you for your indulgence. If I look through on page one of the list of various things that could be gathered I see Juvenal dependency record. I'm puzzled by that because I 'm surprised that this folks could get a hold of the kind of information. Could someone enlighten me as to how that could happen and I don't have any objection to it being on here but juvenal dependency is very serious information how would that occur? >> I would care take a crack at this but if you read up at the top it's talking about what is covered information. And so what this statute is doing is it's defining cover information. So Juvenal dependency records health records you social security number that is covered information, by the state of North Carolina. >> If you look on page two the definition of K12 school purposes that may help. So K12 school purposes are things that are at the direction of. It could be the school where the teacher but it can also be the local board of education and it can include administration activity so I think that that is included in that broad Lester protected information in the event that the school system was using an online software application that might be tracking other student's records to ensure that they would be covered. In most cases I would think of the local board was using it they would probably be using a contract. But it would still as catch I will also cover that. Thank you again I don't have any objection to it being covered piece I just found it to be surprising that it's sitting right their in the middle of other kinds of information that a child would be possibly divulging that now I have seen the context. >> And I don't know that it is been collected that way. I think our intention was to make sure that there some rule for it. If it is in some way. Yeah. It's not to say hey this is going on and we're trying to reign it in, as the technology progresses we wanna make sure we have laws in place that protect all of this things. It's kinda the purpose for some of those more sensitive information. >> All right. Let us move to Senator Wade you have a motion for a favorable report? >> Yes. for PCS rolled into the bill? >> Exactly. >> I have a motion I have a second. Senator [INAUDIBLE] all in favor aye? >> Aye. >> Any opposed> Thank you the bill passes. Hold on just a minute senator Barefoot/g before you get ready to gear up again. There are some folks that came in that looked like they're Moore county people back there. I see Tom Bardle, I see Miriam Chew. I see several others that I recognize, where is my girl Depark?. Today she is not with you today. Or she must be sick. Bro Pack I don't see his head back there either. Stand up folks I want people to see what Moore county looks like. Hey thank you. Thank you for coming down. >> [APPLAUSE] >> Senator Ballard this is your first or second meeting with head committee? >> First. >> Very first, stand up senator. She's replacing Senator Suchak and she's in the Lowtown of her county and I don't know how many others counties up there. Probably four ten or so. But anyway I like her already she looks better than Dan. >> [LAUGH]. >> Welcome to the education committee. Next bill is Senate Bill 687. This is also a PCS. I'll move the PCS be ruled. I've got that motion any second. We got second on va ride/g. PCS is adopted center barefoot. >> Thank you Mr. Chairman In February, USA today published a report grading the teacher screening systems for all 50 States. North Carolina received an F, highlighted by a story of the teacher in Charlotte, who's teaching license was pulled in Georgia after exchanging sexual text messages with a high school student being accused of assaulting two other students His teaching license had also been pulled in South Carolina.

The states that received the highest marks, had one single common characteristic. And that was statewide requirement for the State to conduct fingerprint criminal background checks for teacher applicants. In response, the State Board of Education suggested pursuing legislative changes to give the board authorization to conduct fingerprint checks, that's what this bill does. Current teacher licensing laws require Local Boards of Education to have background check policies. But what the State Board of Education also found was that local criminal background check policies for employees vary from district to district and that finger print background checks were not conducted by the state prior to issuing a license. This Bill also solves the situation with employees. So this bill directs the state of ward of education require all applicants for teacher license have not been previously licensed in the state, or applicants for license renewal who've not been previously checked, for criminal history, to be checked for criminal history using finger prints and the state and repositories of criminal histories.[BLANK_AUDIO] >> Thank you for description of the bill. Any questions? Senator Hudson. Thank you for coming in. Red Dragon closed what time last night? >> 2 A.M. wasn't it? >> Something close to that .>> Thank you. >> I'm just curious, did any districts prior to now require criminal background checks for teachers? Or is it sort of, some did, some didn't, what was the situation? Security can probably explain a little bit more tightly but I'll just give you the big picture. Basically you know that Senator Hudson, half the people who live in North Carolina. from here any more and so we have a lot of teachers coming into our system and we were only using state-wide criminal background checks. What this Bill does is allows for the Federal FBI cross-state repository to be checked for when teachers are applying for teacher licensing. >> Follow up. Would there have been prior to this time, could the local districts have required a national background check? >> Yes. >> So we're simply mandating that they do a national check? I just wanna get- >> This is a compelling language and the policies were not uniform across the system and this creates some uniformity on that point. [BLANK_AUDIO] And this bill folks will have to be serially Referred that to Judiciary 1 of Senator Hartsell, which you chair. We'll take another look at those type of legal questions. We can certainly have another look at, but if we have no other hands.Senator Tart. >> Just a question, if you guys can clarify Mr. Chair. What's the rationale? Is it legal reasons or scope that prevent us from going back to current teachers. Would we not wanna know if we've got convicted felons for whatever reason in the classrooms now, because we haven't done those background checks? >> Well, what the bill says, and correct me if I'm wrong on this, it's gonna require every teacher when they renew their license to go through that and everyone who hasn't currently received one, we'll have to go through the process. Everyone's gonna have to go through the process. >> That's a good question cuz renewals are five year renewal. So we don't have a leg period down there up to five years, somewhere in the process, but Senator Ballard/g did I see a question? >> Sorry. Thank you. As far as employees, this is just for teachers correct there's no like custodial staff or any sort of restrictions or requirements for those right now. Correct? >> No, it's for everyone. >> Everyone. Custodian >> Employees >> Cafeteria. >> So the teachers will have it done upon licenture/g. The employees, now the locals, will have to do this when they hire employees at the local level. So that captures everyone, even people not applying for licenceture. >> And then follow up question >> Follow up >> If I'm renewing my licence, do I have to do this every time I'm come up for renewal? >> Good question. >> Yes. Now. Just to provide some background, the Charlotte, Mecklenberg school

system, they do background, they do state wide background checks on their teachers every single day. [BLANK_AUDIO] They have a program that they run through a profit company that balances all the names of there- I'm not sure if its just the teachers or the employees or both in terms of what is happening on the state they run one. They get like a nightly with the reporter, at least that is what I was told by one of the companies that provides them services. >> Senator Raven if you wanna hold that one. I want to bring this up or maybe in judiciary. Senator if we do one on every renewal you got one so my renewal comes up next year, I got to have this federal check okay. Five years I got another renewal, I've had no accidents no record recorded Been here the whole time you still gotta go back through another one. That gets expensive. I'm just asking the question. >> Well, what the bill provides for that is the school system can pay for it. I think the whole cost is somewhere between 40 and 50 dollars. This whole system can pay for it or what this bill does and the reason why Being referred to finance after J1 is it does authorize the state board and the locals to assess a fee not in excess of the cost of the background check to the appoint. >> Thank you. I wanna hold that centre I don't see any other answer, yes I do senator, you are already going to disappoint me and not ask a question I'll get you in just a minute. Senator Rabin >> Yes thank you [INAUDIBLE] Senator Tarte [INAUDIBLE] what I think I heard was an understand teacher is every five years when they renew they get the cheque And then custodial new applicants are what the administrators staff, let's say that. The get a check before they're hurt, is there a way that we can ensure that the folks already in the system, in the administrative capacity of any kind, have a background check as well? Well is that included? >> That's not in the bill. >> Yes so there is basically two sections there is a piece for licensure here so when an applicant which is a two tripoz for licensure here they have to go through it and then they school district has an employee Does the same thing on an employee when they apply for a job. >> Follow up senator I understand one day apply they have to be checked, what I'm talking about is the people already working in the school In the school in an administrative capacity of some kind, do we go back and check them to see if they have a criminal background, okay. >> No it's for the employee piece it's going forward. >> Follow up just a comment, I wish you'd consider them saying They have to go back and check if the folks are already there otherwise you can have criminals working in the system that you are not aware of and that's a [INAUDIBLE] for the kids thank you. >> Senator you might wanna consider on an amendment and judiciary might be a little late this morning for it, so one other hand Senator Bryant. Yes Mr chairman I have I think two questions, I notice on the back in the section two on page six it says to department may provide the history check for the chauffeur Schools so my question is what's different between the charters and And the regular public schools in terms of this criminal check crisis. >> [INAUDIBLE] that's a good one for you that's a good question>> I'm Carol Mcrolidge Save Analysis Division, Senator Wright this is actually adding language in if we have broadened all of 143 B 391 You would have seen that section A and B deal with local school boards and regional schools and it's exactly the same language we just needed to add authorization so the department of public safety could do the necessary memorandum with the feds to be able to also do this for charter schools, this is really a conforming change. Follow up >> So it's just, does this give them the ability to say no we don't wanna do it or we don't can't afford it or we don't have people or something. >> Carol how about that one. >> It does not actually if you go back over on page four of the bill, if you look in the middle of it that section of track language and Sub section [INAUDIBLE] 17 the charter directors are also going to have to do it so all public schools in North Carolina will have

to do this kinds of checks. >> Okay one more question. >> You are clear and we are all clear >> I have one more question, that was the charter schools was just the one, I have a second >> You want another follow up is what You want >> Yes sir >> You got it. >> Thank you, and that is I notice in here that at least in the [INAUDIBLE] piece, they have to make findings once they find get information about a criminal record and I presume I couldn't track it I don't remember it that closely but I guess they have to make findings but if they were to use it adversely, I'm not quite sure. But is there any right I would have as the applicant to get that information they use or to find out what was used against me either on the licensure piece or the employee piece Do you as an applicant have access to their funding if they dismiss from something that might have happened somewhere in Ohio ten years ago? That is your question? >> Yes. >> And. >> Staff. >> No, there is no provision in that that authorizes the applicant to have access The state board provision for the licensure piece does say that they will keep written findings but at the local levels if they make the decision based on the check that they choose not to employ the person, there is no obligation to them to provide an explanation to the person regarding that. >> Wanna make a comment Mr. Chairman. >> I'm gonna make one too. >> Okay I just wanna say I think there is something we need to look at going forward, technology being what it is, databases being what it is. I could easily come up [CROSSTALK] I recommend Ohio and it's not me. You are dismissed on information, they get in this background check. I believe in the legal system whether this bill includes it or not Bill includes it or not, you could access to that, if you're going to be dismissed you got to know why. >> Well I was interested in being dismissed, and I'm not hired, can we ask staff whether there is any other legal right I would have as an applicant or an employee should this information used against me to find out what it was, or challenge if it were incorrect. [SOUND] >> Carey if you wanna tackle that one [SOUND] >> Senator Bryant I will admit I am not an employment law expert so, there could be actions out there. There is nothing in the education statutes that would give some who is public school applicant. If you're not hired as an applicant, there is nothing in the statute that gives you a legal right to action to challenge that. And I think that, that would apply to this as well. So there is no statutory right. >> In the bill, otherwise it may be, we just don't know about Senator ->> Can I say something? >> Yes Senator Bryant, we will look into that issues regarding both dismissal and non hires. My gut feeling is that my opinion is different on both of those situations. But we'll look at that from it's trip from here to the J1 committee. >> Thank you. >> Senator Hartsell before I get to you I want more comment from Carey on this issue. [SOUND] >> Just another point to clarify. This is actually, what this law allows is actually for granting of a license not removing a license. And this is also for hiring of people not dismissing all ready employed applicants or employees. So this is all about preemptive before you enter in to the employment relationship. >> And so if you are talking about a dismissal or the revocation of a license that will put you in to completely different side of law of dealing with that terms of employment right or property interest. >> And I will bet you you any amount that you will have that you don't have access to it then. If there is a dismissal or a non-hire, we can check that out. I'm no expert on it. Senator Hartsell >> Looking at the bill explanation under current law it says that the current statute does not provide the state board of education authority to require applicants and such, could not the state board of education adopt this requirement by rule? >> Good question, Senator of [INAUDIBLE]. >> Senator Hartsell the reason that state board cannot do it by rule has to do with the ability to do the FBI background check. In order for the FBI to be willing to enter into an MOU with state, they have to have a statute on the books. And as you're probably familiar in the department of public safety section. There is several, all the licencing boards have a specific statute authorizing them to go to the SBI and FBI for fingerprint criminal background checks. And so the state board needs that statutory authorization to be

able to conduct those, to get to the national databases. >> All right. >> So you're saying that the state board of education does need us? >> That correct. >> And this bill, at least a portion of this bill the licences portion is a direct result of recommendations from the state board of education. And for those of you in the committee, the SBI and department of Public Safety are good with the language here. Senator Davis, where have you been this morning? [LAUGH]. He comes in he's go a question ->> I've been with constituents this morning. >> I'll get [CROSSTALK] >>I'm do a favor if so willing Mr.Chair. I'm gonna consolidate 10 questions into one simple one. >> One, very good. One question >> Now I know this bill is moving, I was just carious do we have any just general figures on how much these type criminal check would cause? >> Senator Barefoot says they're gonna cost you about $40 or $50 per head cuz that's what we're hearing, I've heard that, and I've heard a little higher figure but I don't know what the federal one cost anymore. They check me out twice, but I paid for it on my mine. But that's a good question. I think that's close to right, isn't it Senator Barefoot? >> As far as we know >> While ago I made egregious error, when we had our Moore County folks, party chairman is back there, John Roward/g I see him. How can the most tallest, and ugliest guy in the whole world, he walked right in and I missed him? And I wanna welcome him here to with all these other folks, tremendous job, John. Now back to the business at hand. Good question, Senator Wales. >> Thank you Mr chair a question for staff, do we have anything in place I don't see to dress in this field if either a licence holder or an employee has receives a conviction for criminal and offence during their employment, is there any requirement that they report that to their HR [BLANK_AUDIO] >> I'm Carol Mccrolidge/g Save Announce Division, it is not in the statutes in front of you cuz this all deal with applicants and lisinger/g but there is a requirement under the teacher employment statute that local boards actually have to report information up to the state board of education when they have someone who's had a conviction and then there actually is a process this state board may go through to consider whether to remove the licence in those situations. >> All right , all right >> The reason why North Carolina got dinged so hard id because all of our laws up to this point have been self reporting, so you self report when you get arrested, you self report when you apply for a licence whether or not you have a criminal history and so the door is open there for people to lie and gain access to our system this bill closes that door. And believe that will conclude I have a motion but I'll hold that motion for just a moment, we got a large crowd today senator that came to see you with your new suit and tie on but you know folks this are two important bills and I hate like the biggens/g to put you through something so boring actually watching paint dry is probably more exciting but this is important stuff. Senator Barefoot/g this is a good piece of legislation and I thank you but before we take this vote, we have a couple in here that are Sir Winston Churchill's advocates and know the history of Winston Churchill. If you do you know Lady Ashner/g, the society lady, that could not stand senator, I mean [LAUGH] Winston Churchill. And one night at a party, he was tipsy a little bit and she was too and she said Sir Winston, if I were married to you I would give you poison to drink. He said Lady Ashner/g, if I was married to you I would drink it. >> [LAUGH] >> True story, I don't true stories but now we have a motion. Senator Wade for a favorable report. All in favor, aye?>> Aye. >> Any opposed. Bill passes and is serially referred to judiciary one, Senator Hudson. Do you have another appearance to make? >> Thank you Mr. Chairman. [BLANK_AUDIO]