CPS background checks force out teachers, others
More than one-third of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) workers effectively barred from working over issues raised in their background checks were slated to be directly working with students on a regular basis.
The new revelation comes courtesy of the Chicago Tribune’s ongoing special investigation, which uncovered that nine teachers and 35 others designated as “classroom aides” were terminated, recommended for dismissal or chose not to continue working for CPS. The newspaper adds another 124 employees are still not allowed to work because of issues related to fingerprint submissions needed for an updated district check.
Since the Tribune published its report back in June, at least another 130 school volunteers have been dismissed or resigned under review, as have 184 vendors that work with CPS.
The investigation rocked the halls of CPS after it was found that faulty background checks left students vulnerable to staff with criminal histories, including in some instances convictions for sex-related offenses.
As the controversy boiled over, CPS officials committed to rechecking the backgrounds of all its more than 68,000 employees before the start of this school year.
According to the Tribune, 27 coaches are among the group still sidelined. Beyond the mere numbers, CPS officials have been tight-lipped about workers impacted or the schools they were assigned to.
“It’s hard, because, yes, there should be some more transparency,” Jennie Biggs of Raise Your Hand education advocacy group told the Tribune. “But I also get this is a personnel issue, and there’s certainly laws and privacy issues they have to follow.”