Florida officials are broadly interpreting a new law that requires background checks for thousands of school district contractors who have access to campuses, reports the Miami Herald. School leaders said new guidelines will require a massive mobilization to fingerprint construction workers building additions, and sports officials and vendors selling yearbooks and class rings at school before the law goes into effect Sept. 1.
Across the state, thousands of workers will be required to submit fingerprints to the FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. The background checks are required by the Jessica Lunsford Act, which is designed to tighten monitoring and punishment of sexual offenders. It was named for the the 9-year-old girl who was kidnapped, raped and murdered, allegedly by a convicted sex offender who did construction work at her school. Background checks cost more than $65 per person. “The really unfortunate thing about this is that this money will come directly out of every child’s classroom,” said Miami-Dade School Board member Evelyn Greer.