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Background checks and the role of BOEE

Reviewed January 2021

Various Iowa laws require background checks for school employees. The following is a list of relevant code sections applicable to background checks. School districts should maintain documentation to demonstrate that background checks have taken place.

Iowa Code 272.2(17) Board of examiners created.

Iowa Code 279.13 Contracts with teachers - automatic continuation - initial background investigations.

Iowa Administrative Code 282-20.3 Renewal of licenses.

Iowa Code 321.375(2) School bus drivers - qualifications - grounds for suspension.

Iowa Code 279.69 School employees - background investigations.

The Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE) conducts a state background check, a national fingerprint background check, and a check of the sex offender and child and dependent adult abuse registries on all initial applicants for Iowa licensure. For renewals, the BOEE checks criminal history information available to the general public (Iowa Courts Online), as well as the three registries listed above. Certain forcible felonies and any criminal sexual offense involving a child will automatically disqualify a candidate for initial licensure or renewal. All other criminal convictions or founded abuse reports are evaluated using several factors set forth in the Board's administrative rules, including the number of convictions or founded abuse reports, the time lapsed since the last conviction or founded abuse report, and any evidence of rehabilitation provided by the applicant.