In 2005, the Revised School Code was amended to require the boards of  school districts or intermediate school districts or the governing body of public school academies or nonpublic schools to conduct criminal background checks and obtain fingerprints of any new employee or individual who is contracted to work "regularly or continuously" on school property. MCL 380.1230(1) and MCL 380.1230a(1).  In a recently issued opinion, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox addressed whether these provisions of the Revised School Code apply to employees of higher education institutions who are providing instruction to K-12 students.

The Attorney General found that the Revised School Code does not impose any obligations on high education institutions to conduct criminal background checks or obtain fingerprints of their employees that provide instruction to K-12 students. Nonetheless, the Attorney General found that boards of school districts or intermediate school districts or the governing body of public school academies or nonpublic schools are required to conduct criminal history checks and obtain fingerprints of employees of higher education institutions who provide instruction or services to K-12 students if such instruction or services are provided: 1) pursuant to a contract with the school board or governing body of the K-12 institution; 2) regularly and continuously - on more than an intermittent or sporadic basis; and 3) "at school," meaning "in a classroom [or] elsewhere on school property," as provided in MCL 380.1230a(15).

The full version of Opinion Number 7252 can be read on the Michigan Attorney General website or in the Client Access section of our website.

 

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