Summary: S.856 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.856. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (03/24/2015)

Stop Sexual Abuse by School Personnel Act of 2015

Amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to require each state and local educational agency (LEA) that receives funds under the ESEA to have policies and procedures in effect that require a criminal background check for each school employee in the LEA's public elementary and secondary schools.

Requires the background check to be conducted and administered by the state or the LEA.

Authorizes states or LEAs to use ESEA funds to establish, implement, or improve policies and procedures on background checks for school employees. Lists the policies and procedures to be implemented using that assistance, including training for school employees on how to recognize, respond to, and prevent child abuse.

Requires state and LEA school improvement plans (required for receipt of school improvement funds under part A of title I of the ESEA) to describe the laws, regulations, or policies and procedures in effect in the state that:

  • terminate individuals who fail to pass the criminal background check,
  • improve the reporting of those failures,
  • reduce the instances of a school employee being transferred following the employee's failure to pass the background check,
  • provide a school employee with a requested copy of the employee's criminal background check and a timely process for appealing its results,
  • provide the results of the criminal background check to the employer in a statement that indicates whether a school employee is eligible for employment, and
  • make the background check policies and procedures publicly available.

Directs the Secretary of Education, in collaboration with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General, to provide technical assistance and support to states, LEAs, and schools that shall include, at a minimum:

  • a comprehensive package of materials that outlines the steps that can be taken to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse by school personnel;
  • the most cost-effective way to disseminate federal information so states, LEAs, child welfare agencies, and criminal justice entities are aware of such information and have access to it; and
  • mechanisms to better track and analyze the prevalence of child sexual abuse by school personnel through existing federal data collection systems.