Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America Hails Passage of Non-Public School Background Check Legislation in NYS
“A common sense solution to protect our children.”
The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, through its Institute for Public Affairs is pleased that the New York State Legislature recently passed legislation allowing nonpublic schools to perform background checks on school employees. The legislation, sponsored by Senator Dean Skelos and Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg now awaits signature by Governor Pataki.
Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Executive Vice President stated [Note to Editors: Rabbi Weinreb previously served as Assistant Supervisor of Psychological Services for the Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland.]: “That our children should always feel safe at school is a priority for every parent and for a concerned community. We are grateful the Legislature has provided all schools the tools needed to protect the children entrusted to them.”
The legislation allows, but does not require, nonpublic schools to perform Federal background checks on employees. Until now these schools, unlike public schools, could only legally perform name based background checks by private security companies, a procedure that sometimes missed vital information, such as criminal misdemeanors.
Nathan Diament, the Union’s Director of Public Policy said “Representing a common sense solution to protect our children, this legislation represents the very best of what happens when government and our community work together. We thank Senator Skelos and Assemblyman Weisenberg for introducing the legislation and we especially thank Speaker Silver, a co-sponsor of the legislation in the Assembly for using his very best efforts to negotiate passage of a final bill acceptable to all.”