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MDE and State Police Set December 31st Deadline for Criminal Records Transfers

By Jeremy S. Motz / Dec 02, 2013

Recently the Michigan Department of Education ("MDE") and the Michigan State Police ("MSP") issued separate memoranda advising local school districts, intermediate school districts ("ISD") and public school academies ("PSA"), as well as those third-party contractors who provide contracted personnel and other services to these school entities, of the need to revamp the manner in which Criminal History Record Information ("CHRI") received through the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") pursuant to MCL 380.1230a is distributed and maintained.

The MSP has advised that, beginning January 1, 2014, it will no longer allow third-party contractors to complete the fingerprint background checks on behalf of a school district, ISD or PSA.  Moreover, the MSP has advised that any third-party contractor in possession of CHRI for personnel placed in schools must be relinquished to the applicable school district, ISD or PSA by December 31, 2013 , and that the third-party contractor may not retain the CHRI, electronically or physically, after that date.  The MSP has indicated that this requirement applies to third-party contractors (including management companies) who provide, for example, teachers, substitute teachers, food service workers, janitorial staff, transportation staff, etc.

Depending upon the relationship and terms and conditions of the contract under which the personnel and services are provided by third-party contractors, each school district, ISD and PSA may be affected in a different way.  Therefore, it is prudent that school districts, ISDs, and PSAs review their relationships with any third-party contractors providing personnel or services to determine how the criminal history checks and related CHRI are being obtained and maintained, and to promptly begin working with their contractors to facilitate the required transfer of CHRI and amend their applicable contracts, if necessary, to establish practices which are legally compliant.  If you have any questions about the impact of these requirements on your school district, ISD or PSA, or questions about the fingerprint-based background check process, please call your Clark Hill Education Law attorney.