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  News Release
The following is a news release from the Oregon Teacher Standards and Commission. If there are more details that we can provide for you, please feel free to contact us (see Contact Us).
  Fingerprint-Based Criminal History No Longer Accepted
  Released: Wednesday, September 17, 2003 at 5:00 PM
TO: All Applicants, School Districts and Institutions of Higher Education
FR: Vickie Chamberlain, Executive Director
RE: Criminal Records Check Requirement

In the past, TSPC has accepted a Fingerprint-Based Criminal History Verification Form that has been processed through the Oregon Department of Education (ODE). If the fingerprint check had been cleared by the ODE, we did not look further.

Recently during a routine check of a license on a renewal, we discovered a licensed teacher with several felonies and misdemeanors of a very serious nature whose fingerprints had been cleared through the ODE.

In follow-up we discovered that the ODE clears all fingerprints, regardless of criminal history, unless a crime appears that is on the statutory list of mandatory crimes requiring the permanent revocation of an educator's license. This is not the standard of review TSPC uses, nor is it our Assistant Attorney General's opinion that allowing these "clearances" is an acceptable practice because TSPC, unlike ODE, has authority to deny licenses to persons who have been convicted of crimes other than the mandatory crimes listed under ORS 342.143. If TSPC relies on ODE's clearance of an applicant, it could cause TSPC to be unaware of a criminal conviction that would render the applicant unfit to hold a teaching license. Accordingly, TSPC will no longer, under any circumstances, accept the Fingerprint-Based Criminal History Verification Form from the ODE.

We apologize for any inconvenience while we implement this new policy. Attached is a copy of the new temporary Administrative Rule 584-036-0062 reflecting this change in policy.

TSPC will be modifying all of our forms to reflect this change immediately.


  Archived: June 15, 2004  [VC:113-1] 
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