CHARLOTTE, N.C. — CMS students will start a new school year on Monday, but there's still a lot of summer work to catch up on.
More than 3,500 teachers who were not fingerprinted as a part of their background check last school year were required to do so this summer. With less than a week to go, there are still 1,300 employees who either haven't gotten it done at all or whose prints haven’t been processed by the State Bureau of Investigations yet.
Now the question is, without their background checks completed, will those employees still get to start on Monday?
The district is hopeful that number will drop before Monday, as they still evaluate their options on what to do with those workers.
“We're making significant progress on the fingerprinting,” new Superintendent Earnest Winston said at a press conference Wednesday morning.
From July 2018 to June 2019 3,500 new CMS employees were not fingerprinted, an essential part of a background check. That revelation came as a shock to the school board, broke district policy and raised obvious safety concerns.
Ultimately it played a role in the suspension and later resignation of former Superintendent Clayton Wilcox.
With Earnest Winston now at the helm, they're racing to get it all done in time.
“We do have a system in place for those teachers and other employees who have not been fingerprinted, we do have a process so we can expedite those and get those done as quickly as possible,” Winston said.
District officials are still deciding if those who have no completed the entire process by Monday will be allowed in the classroom at all or if they'll have restricted access to kids.
A spokesperson for CMS said ultimately their decision will be whatever is safest for children.