AUSTIN, Texas — Administrators in Texas school districts have a new tool to use when hiring teachers.
This month, the Texas Education Agency unveiled its new "do not hire" registry. The State created it as part of the school finance reform bill, HB3.
The registry tells district leaders if an applicant is eligible for hire or if they're under investigation for any kind of misconduct. If they are, by law, the district cannot hire them.
The public will have access to this registry too – but not until April.
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Before this, there was no central database of teacher investigations so, most often, school districts conducted their own background checks. But those may not have revealed things like criminal charges against applicants if they ended in plea deals or settlements and not convictions.
State lawmakers are hoping this registry cuts down on the number of reported inappropriate relationships Texas teachers have with minors. Numbers have spiked in recent years, in part because of stricter reporting rules.
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