Section 1-111 of the Pennsylvania School Code requires that all applicants for school employment, including those of independent contractors but excluding employees who do not have direct contact with students, must obtain a criminal background check. All applicants are required to submit a Request for Criminal Record Check to the Pennsylvania State Police. The results will be returned directly to you and must be submitted to the school entity with which you are seeking employment.
Criminal reports may be obtained electronically from the Pennsylvania State Police at https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp. The Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History (PATCH) Invoice for Criminal Record Check with a copy of the State seal imbedded on the paper is an official record check.
The Criminal History Request Form (SP4-164) is also available from schools, Pennsylvania State Police Barracks and from the Pennsylvania State Police web site: http://www.witf.org/support/SP4_164_Request_For_Criminal_Record_Check.pdf. This background check requires a ten dollar ($10) payment in the form of a certified check or money order payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. To check on the status of a request for a Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Record Check call 717-783-9973.
Applicants who ARE NON-RESIDENTS OR have not been a resident of Pennsylvania for at least two years immediately preceding the date of application for employment must also obtain a criminal background check from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI check requires applicant fingerprints be placed on a special card available from the school in which you are seeking employment or from the School Services Unit in the Department of Education. It is important that you use the card that identifies the Pennsylvania State Board of Education as the requesting agency, otherwise the results may not be returned through proper channels. The FBI check requires a payment of twenty-four ($24) in the form of a certified check or money order payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Call, write or send an email requesting the FBI fingerprint card to:
School Services Unit
PA Department of Education
333 Market Street 5th floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
The department of education will not accept requests from applicants. School administrators shall forward the set of fingerprints for the federal criminal history record to the department of education.
Act 114 of 2006, Section 111 of the Public School Code was amended effective April 1, 2007. All student teachers (participating in classroom teaching, internships, clinical or field experience) and prospective employees (including but not limited to administrators, teachers, substitutes, janitors, cafeteria workers, office employees) of public and private schools, Intermediate Units and area vocational-technical schools, including independent contractors and their employees and bus drivers, who have direct contact with children, must provide to their employer a copy of their Federal Criminal History Record that cannot be more than one (1) year old. This only applies to employees hired on or after April 1, 2007. Employees hired prior to April 1, 2007, are only required to provide the Federal Criminal History record if they have lived outside of the state for at least two years immediately preceding their application for employment.
There are three locations in this area for fingerprinting: AIU 3, UPS Store in Orchard Park Plaza - next to Rite Aide, and the University of Pittsburgh. This clearance costs $40 and may be paid for on-line during the registration process. A person MUST register before going to a site location to be fingerprinted. Cashiers checks or money orders made payable to “Cogent Systems” must be taken to fingerprint location if payment has not been made on-line.
In addition to the criminal background check, Sections 6354-6358 (Act 151) of the Public Welfare Code requires that all applicants for school employment, both Pennsylvania residents and non-residents, also obtain a Child Abuse History Clearance. This request is submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Child Line. The Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance Form (CY 113) may be obtained from the school to which you are applying for employment, the Department of Public Welfare web site at http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/child/childabuseneglect/003671038.htm or from the School Services Unit in the Department of Education. The Child Abuse History Clearance requires payment of ten ($10) payable to the Department of Public Welfare in the form of a certified check or money order. To check on the status of a request for the Child Abuse Clearance call 717-783-6211.
The criminal background check and child abuse clearance results are valid for one year. Applicants should make and retain a copy of the reports since the Department of Education, Pennsylvania State Police and Department of Public Welfare do not maintain copies of the criminal record check or child abuse history clearances.