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School districts statewide to access "Do Not Hire" Registry

Posted at 5:34 PM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 20:02:28-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — School districts across Texas will have access to a list of educators and non-certified employees who are on a "Do Not Hire" list.

"There's never enough protection for the children that we serve," West Oso Superintendent Conrado Garcia said.

It is that same sentiment that made Sen. Paul Bettencourt of Houston spearhead House Bill 3 allowing school districts more transparency when hiring educators and non-certified employees who have been previously flagged for misconduct.

"As personnel departments and school superintendents and so on get more acclimated to this, it would be routine just like we do with certified personnel," Garcia said. "So I am actually encouraged by it."

Bettencourt said Texas has had a problem with adults in the education system "preying on students."

Just Tuesday, an allegation of an inappropriate relationship between a staff member and student was reported to Calallen High School.

Garcia said having a database where information can be gathered and shared is useful.

"In this day and age you can't be so sure what might have happened prior to someone's previous experience," Garcia said.

Schools will be required to report certain allegations and misconduct when it comes to educators and non-certified employees, according to the Texas Education Association's website. The list will also detail which individuals cannot be hired based on misconduct and criminal history.

Corpus Christi Independent School District officials said they also received the information from the TEA on Monday.

"The consolidated database will help ensure that districts have the most current information on applicants, including those who are under investigation for misconduct, which will further protect the safety of our students," CCISD Dir. of Communications Leanne Libby said in a statement.

This list will be available to the public in April according to the Texas Education Agency's website.