Pa. Law Requires School Volunteers to Pass Background Checks

The law requires certain volunteers to pass up to three background checks before working with students.

Parents and others volunteering at schools in Pennsylvania are required to pass background checks as part of a 2015 amendment to a state law.

The amendment to the Child Protective Services Law went into effect in July 2015 and may require volunteers to pass up to three background checks, according to

The volunteers will have to pay for the background checks out of their own pocket, which some worry will discourage people from volunteering. One of the background check clearances costs almost $30.

RELATED: Guarding the Front Door: School Visitor Management Best Practices

Under the amendment, people with “direct volunteer contact” with schoolchildren will need to pass state police criminal and child abuse history checks as well as an FBI criminal history check. Both of the state police background checks are free.

School visitors who are not directly responsible for a child’s welfare or have no direct supervision of children will not need clearances.

Although many school districts conform exactly to the state law, some require a wider range of school visitors to pass the background checks.

“If people are coming in, they are definitely required to get clearances,” Valley View Interim Superintendent Corey Castellani said. “You never know.” Castellani said the school district also requires background checks for people chaperoning field trips.

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