New PAISD employees must be fingerprinted
A new state law requiring school district employees to be fingerprinted soon will have its effects on the Port Aransas Independent School District.
The law requires that all school district employees in the state be fingerprinted by 2011 and that new employees be fingerprinted immediately upon being hired, said Penny Slingerland, a PAISD administrative assistant who is handling fingerprinting matters for the district.
The law is meant to identify people with criminal histories and keep them from working around children.
Whoever ends up filling a job opening currently in the district's maintenance department could end up being the district's first employee to be fingerprinted under the new law, Slingerland said.
New employees must go to the Education Service Center in Corpus Christi to have their fingerprints done. It will cost $50 to $60 to have it done, Slingerland said. PAISD is considering options for dealing with the cost, she said.
"We're trying to work out a system to get it done at no expense to the applicant," Slingerland said.
PAISD might have the Education Service Center bill the district each time someone is fingerprinted, Slingerland said. Or, she said, employees might have to pay for it and then be reimbursed by the district.
PAISD is planning to tap into state funds that have been set aside for paying for fingerprinting of certified personnel. Nearly all teachers and administrators are certified personnel. Those not certified typically include secretaries, cafeteria workers and maintenance employees. PAISD is hoping to foot the bill for non-certified employees, Slingerland said.
No decisions have been made on when to start fingerprinting current employees, Slingerland said. PAISD has about 100 employees.