Question: How do we handle 'House Bill No. 435'?

Our school was just informed that all volunteers must have all three clearances (two from the state of PA and one including FBI fingerprints) in order to volunteer. For the state of PA this goes into effect January 1, 2015. Our organization is struggling to get volunteers as it is and now this right in the middle of the school year! I am not against it, but just worried that because it is implemented right now & not at the start of the new school year, we will lose what little volunteers we have as a lot of parents simply cannot afford an extra $50 during the holidays. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep our current volunteers?

Asked by CVSDvolunteer



Community Advice

mum24kids writes:
Are you sure it is all volunteers and not just volunteers who have regular direct contact with children? That could make a big difference.

Since this is a state wide issue, I would contact the volunteer coordinators at your neighboring schools and see if you can't all get together somehow and come up with a plan. It seems strange that you are just finding out now about a bill that was passed in last year's legislative session; perhaps someone is misinterpreting something?

In our district, the school district requires certain volunteers to go through background checks, but they have the volunteers go through the same process as school employees, and they cover the cost for it. Perhaps if a group of schools get together and talk to the district about their concerns, the school district might agree to absorb some of the cost or come up with some other solution.

Community Advice

CVSDvolunteer writes:
Yes our governor signed the bill when it came across is desk last week. The law takes effect in the state of PA beginning January 1, 2015. So now every volunteer, visitor, or anyone that desires to engage in an activity near our students during school hours or after school hours, basketball games, football games, etc., all parents who are boosters will have to have all clearances which include criminal background checks, FBI fingerprints, and child abuse clearances. The clearances are good for three years, but must be re-done when they expire and any new criminal activity within those three years, must be reported within 72 hours of the occurrence. Can't see many parents wanting to volunteer anymore so our low numbers will go even lower. Our district has been in communication with us during this entire process so we are trying to come up with a plan to not lose anymore volunteers.

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