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IA: State May Do Background Checks On Student Teachers.

November 8, 2002

By Nick Glew

A small yet growing number of new teachers are breaking the state's professional rules and ethical codes. Since 2000, mandatory background checks are conducted on every new teacher applying for a teaching license in the state of Iowa. Nearly 5000 of them have been done since the law went into place two years ago. But nearly 500 of those applicants required further review because of criminal history. Twenty-five of those were denied a license. However, before that time, this same group of teachers already spent time in the classroom as student teachers.

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners is discussing the possibility of requiring student teachers to have a license before being allowed in any classroom. At Clarke College in Dubuque, students already undergo a less extensive background check that includes checking the state's sex offender registry. This applies to anyone that wants to work in the public school system. While the checks may not be as extensive, local school officials are still comfortable with the current process.

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Source: 2002 KCRG-TV Channel 9 News