CMS making progress on employee fingerprinting before end of year

CMS making progress on employee fingerprinting before end of year
CMS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) is making big strides in making sure all their employees are being fingerprinted.

As of Wednesday, CMS said that 108 employees have yet to be fingerprinted. That’s down from the 1,350 that still needed fingerprinted at the beginning of this school year.

CMS officials said that some of those employees who have yet to fingerprint are substitute teachers and employees on extended leave.

Over the summer, WBTV learned that CMS had stopped fingerprinting new employees for about a year. District officials said CMS paused fingerprinting in July 2018 because it changed companies. They said that 3,533 employees were hired between July 2018 and June 2019 who weren’t fingerprinted.

That thought raised concerns some in the community. Former Superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox said in July that the decision to end fingerprinting for that span of time was his.

Fingerprinting allows the district to further examine arrest records and convictions of employees. CMS policy states, “all applicants for employment will be required to submit to fingerprinting.”

The policy also states:

  • All potential CMS employees must pass a comprehensive background check.
  • CMS has resumed fingerprinting and will update background checks as needed.
  • Background Investigation Services (BIB.com) was selected as the CMS background check resource in July 2018. BIB serves a large number of school districts in North Carolina. BIB screens candidates through over 450 million unique records from over 3,200 public agencies.
  • All CMS employees are screened each night for NC charges or convictions to uphold standards of safety and security.
  • CMS joins other districts in North Carolina and across the US in adopting new technologies and methods to better protect students and staff through strengthened background checks."

CMS said in July that fingerprinting for school years 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 cost the District $217,678.

The school district used to use the company FirstPoint to conduct its background checks. The cost for the 2017-2018 school year was $298,884. It was reported in July that the new company, Background Investigations Bureau (BIB), was charging CMS $253,881.20.

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