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Rep. Adam Miller Introduces Bill to Close School Employee Background Check Loopholes

Bipartisan bill would improve the Department of Education's ability to hold employees accountable for inappropriate conduct
March 30, 2023
Adam C. Miller News

COLUMBUS - State Rep. Adam C. Miller (D-Columbus) today introduced bipartisan legislation that expands conduct that would require schools to file a report with the Ohio Department of Education for employee misconduct. 

“Closing these loopholes protects students and parents,” said Rep. Miller. “It also protects school districts. An employee affected by these changes would still have all their rights under law, but other districts would have a clearer picture of the circumstances and could make the best, most informed decision on hiring that person. Right now, districts and parents are left in the dark.”

The bill would:

  • Allow the State Board of Education to take disciplinary action against an individual who is required to register with the Department of Education (ODE) in the same manner as the State Board takes disciplinary action against license holders. Under current law, some individuals who are licensed by other state agencies must register with ODE to work in a school. These individuals include social workers, nurses, physical therapists, and speech-language pathologists. Granting the State Board this authority would prevent the individual from working in another school.
  • Add engaging in prostitution to the list of crimes for which the State Board must deny renewal of an educator license.
  • Require public and chartered nonpublic schools to report to ODE when a substitute teacher is removed from the eligible substitute list for conduct unbecoming to the teaching profession.
  • Prohibit an educator whose license has been revoked from being an employee or contractor of a community school.
  • Add a teacher or school employee who retires while under threat of disciplinary investigation or threat of termination to the list of mandatory reports to the Ohio Department of Education.

The bill now awaits referral to a House committee.