New York City overhauls background checks for school bus drivers

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City will overhaul its system of background checks for school bus drivers in response to reports of lax screenings of some of the private employees.

The drivers are already fingerprinted, but now will be subjected to the same background checks and screenings as all city employees, the Education Department announced

"We're updating our background check system so bus drivers go through the same fingerprinting and background check process as all DOE employees in addition to the current state background check, which includes an FBI criminal history review," an Education Department spokeswoman said.

Under the system, there will be a full background questionnaire, direct access to nationwide criminal history and any previous DOE employment history, and background interviews as needed, as well as real-time electronic notification of arrests or incidents.

Education Department officials recently learned of weaknesses in the vetting process that could have resulted in some drivers going through m the current screening process undetected.

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