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109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     109-497

======================================================================
 
 TO PROVIDE FOR CERTAIN ACCESS TO NATIONAL CRIME INFORMATION DATABASES 
   BY SCHOOLS AND EDUCATIONAL AGENCIES FOR EMPLOYMENT PURPOSES, WITH 
             RESPECT TO INDIVIDUALS WHO WORK WITH CHILDREN

                                _______
                                

 June 12, 2006.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Sensenbrenner, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4894]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 4894) to provide for certain access to national crime 
information databases by schools and educational agencies for 
employment purposes, with respect to individuals who work with 
children, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do 
pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. ACCESS TO NATIONAL CRIME INFORMATION DATABASES BY SCHOOLS 
                    AND EDUCATIONAL AGENCIES FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES.

  (a) In General.--The Attorney General of the United States shall, 
upon request of the chief executive officer of a State, conduct 
fingerprint-based checks of the national crime information databases 
(as defined in section 534(f)(3)(A) of title 28, United States Code, as 
redesignated under subsection (e)), pursuant to a request submitted by 
an entity of the State, or unit of local government, which is 
designated to conduct background checks on individuals employed by, 
under consideration for employment by, or volunteering for, a private 
or public elementary school, private or public secondary school, local 
educational agency, or State educational agency in that State in a 
position in which the individual would work with or around children. 
Where possible, the check shall include a fingerprint-based check of 
State criminal history databases. The Attorney General and the States 
may charge any applicable fees for these checks.
  (b) Protection of Information.--An individual having information 
derived as a result of a check under subsection (a) may release that 
information only to an appropriate officer of a private elementary 
school, private secondary school, local educational agency, or State 
educational agency, or to any person authorized by law to receive that 
information.
  (c) Criminal Penalties.--An individual who knowingly exceeds the 
authority in subsection (a), or knowingly releases information in 
violation of subsection (b), shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years 
or fined under title 18, United States Code, or both.
  (d) Definitions.--In this section, the terms ``elementary school'', 
``local educational agency'', ``secondary school'', and ``State 
educational agency'', have the meanings given to those terms in section 
9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 
7801).
  (e) Technical Correction.--Section 534 of title 28, United States 
Code, as amended by section 905(a) of the Violence Against Women and 
Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (Pub. Law 109-162), 
is further amended by redesignating the second subsection (e) as 
subsection (f).

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 4894 directs the Attorney General to conduct 
fingerprint-based background checks using the national crime 
information databases at the request of schools or educational 
agencies for employees, prospective employees, and volunteers 
who interact with children.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    School teachers and staff are entrusted with our nation's 
most precious resource, our children. Setting the highest 
standard for the quality of teachers and staff who interact 
with our children in our nation's schools is of the utmost 
priority. When parents send their children off to school, they 
want to be confident that the school's teachers and staff will 
protect as well as educate them. Parents should be able to 
trust that schools and school districts are doing everything 
necessary to ensure the hiring of the highest quality teachers 
for their children as they are a critical component of a 
child's development. Most teachers uphold the highest standards 
of conduct and deserve the trust they have earned in educating 
our children. Unfortunately, there have been an alarming number 
of reports of sexual abuse of students by schoolteachers. A 
more disturbing trend is that in some instances these teachers 
have a history of sexual abuse.
    Despite improvements in hiring practices of prospective 
teachers, including widespread use of background checks, people 
with criminal histories continue to evade these traditional 
safeguards. Currently, all States require some form of an 
employment background check for school employees. However, the 
type of background check varies from State to State or even 
among school districts. Some States require only a State police 
check while others require both a State and an FBI check. These 
disparities also extend to standards pertaining to recurring 
background checks of teachers and school employees.
    The type and number of employees screened varies along with 
the recurrence of background checks.
    In 1998, Congress adopted the National Crime Prevention and 
Privacy Compact Act establishing an infrastructure by which 
States can exchange criminal records for non-criminal justice 
purposes such as background checks of school employees.\1\ 
However, to date, only 25 States and the FBI have ratified the 
Compact.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Pub. L. No. 105-251.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification 
System (IAFIS) is a national fingerprint and criminal history 
system. The Interstate Identification Index (III) segment of 
IAFIS is the national system designed to provide automated 
criminal history information to participating States. Forty 
States currently participate in the III program.
    Two flaws persist with current background check systems. 
First, not all data contained in State criminal records are 
available under these systems and second, the current process 
is cumbersome and does not provide a timely response. Use of 
the current systems is particularly onerous in fast-growing 
school districts that are under tremendous pressure to quickly 
fill additional teaching positions. H.R. 4894 provides States 
direct access to Federal databases for background checks of 
current and prospective school employees and volunteers, 
thereby providing for a more exhaustive and effective search.

                                Hearings

    The Committee on the Judiciary held no hearings on H.R. 
4894.

                        Committee Consideration

    On May 25, 2006, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered favorably reported the bill H.R. 4894 with an amendment 
by a voice vote, a quorum being present.

                         Vote of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee notes that there 
were no recorded votes during the Committee's consideration of 
H.R. 4894.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(I) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee reports that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(I) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives is inapplicable because this legislation does 
not provide new budgetary authority or increased tax 
expenditures.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth, with 
respect to the bill, H.R. 4894, the following estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                                Congressinal Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 12, 2006.
Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.,
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4894, a bill to 
provide for certain access to national crime information 
databases by schools and educational agencies for employment 
purposes, with respect to individuals who work with children.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz.
            Sincerely,
                                          Donald B. Marron,
                                                   Acting Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 4894--A bill to provide for certain access to national crime 
        information databases by schools and educational agencies for 
        employment purposes, with respect to individuals who work with 
        children

    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 4894 would result in 
no significant net cost to the federal government. The bill 
could affect direct spending and receipts, but we estimate that 
any effects would be insignificant. H.R. 4894 contains no 
intergovernmental or private sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on 
state, local, or tribal governments.
    H.R. 4894 would permit states to request that the Attorney 
General conduct fingerprint-based background checks using 
national crime databases for individuals employed by, under 
consideration for employment by, or volunteering for schools or 
educational agencies. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) 
would collect a fee of $24 to carry out each background check. 
These fees would be classified as offsetting collections and 
spent from the FBI's salaries and expenses account, mostly 
during the year in which they are collected. Thus, the net 
impact on that agency's spending would not be significant.
    H.R. 4894 would establish criminal fines for the improper 
release of information gathered during background checks 
conducted under the bill's provisions. CBO estimates that any 
additional collections of fines would not be significant 
because of the relatively small number of additional cases 
likely to be affected. Criminal fines are recorded as revenues, 
deposited in the Crime Victims Fund, and subsequently spent 
without further appropriation.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
This estimate was approved by Robert A. Sunshine, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H.R. 
4894 is intended to improve the safety of our Nation's schools 
and ensure the hiring of qualified teachers and staff by 
providing schools with prompt, accurate criminal background 
information of current and prospective employees.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds the authority for 
this legislation in art. I, Sec. 8 of the Constitution.

               Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion

    The following discussion describes the bill as reported by 
the Committee.

Section 1. Access to national crime information databases by schools 
        and educational agencies for certain purposes

    This section authorizes the Attorney General to provide 
fingerprint-based background checks to elementary and secondary 
schools, local educational agencies, and State educational 
agencies to conduct background checks for private and public 
teachers, school employees, prospective employees, and 
volunteers who work with or around children.

            Changes in Existing Law by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows:

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

              SECTION 534 OF TITLE 28, UNITED STATES CODE


Sec. 534. Acquisition, preservation, and exchange of identification 
                    records and information; appointment of officials

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    [(e)] (f)(1) Information from national crime information 
databases consisting of identification records, criminal 
history records, protection orders, and wanted person records 
may be disseminated to civil or criminal courts for use in 
domestic violence or stalking cases. Nothing in this subsection 
shall be construed to permit access to such records for any 
other purpose.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *