审计查看了该州所有在职校车司机的记录，总数为 1,435 人。在这 1,435 人中，有 8 人至少是一个很小的百分比——准确地说是 0.557%——但仍然鼓励蒙大拿州公共教育办公室呼吁对公交车司机实施更严格的就业限制。
公共教育办公室改革公交车司机背景调查的计划将要求学区对公交车司机申请人进行全面的背景调查。然而，根据蒙大拿州卡利斯佩尔当地新闻来源 KAJ18.com 的报道，蒙大拿州校务委员会协会的人们对如何实施更严格的公交车司机筛查有自己的想法。
公共教育办公室是否会听取蒙大拿州学校董事会协会的建议将在 1 月份公布，届时公交车司机背景调查提案将提交给该州公共教育委员会。
The Montana Office of Public Instruction is currently in the process of drafting new legislation that would require every school district in the state to conduct criminal background checks on their bus drivers prior to employment.
Many districts in the state already have significant employment screening processes in place for both bus drivers and teachers, as both positions give employees frequent close contact with children. However, an audit last spring called the state’s employment screening policies into question for bus drivers, finding that eight bus drivers in the state had records of some sort of undisclosed “moral conduct” that rendered their employment questionable. The audit indicated that the same instances of “immoral conduct” would not have been allowed to pass for state teachers, and therefore should not be ignored for bus drivers either.
The audit looked at records of all active school bus drivers in the state, a number that totals 1,435. Out of that 1,435, eight is at least a fairly miniscule percentage—0.557 percent, to be exact—but has still encouraged the Montana Office of Public Instruction to call for tighter employment restrictions for bus drivers.
The Office of Public Instruction’s plan for revamping bus driver background checks would demand that school districts run full background checks on bus driver applicants. However, according to a report from KAJ18.com, a local news source based in Kalispell, Montana, the people of the Montana Association of School Boards have their own ideas for how to implement stronger bus driver screening.
The school board association insisted that bus drivers could go through a two-pronged check for maximum effectiveness. The first step would take place at the state level, when prospective bus drivers apply with the state to get their commercial driver’s license. As far as the Montana Association of School Boards is concerned, this stage would be the perfect place for the state’s Department of Justice to step in and conduct a thorough criminal background check.
A driver who passed the state criminal check would then go on to apply for specific jobs with specific school districts, which would then be beholden to look further into that driver’s background before approving their employment. For instance, the school district could check the driver’s employment history, as well as references and education, to get a better sense of who that person is as a professional. Backgroundchecks.com, for instance, has services that look into both criminal histories and professional or educational histories—both types of background checks that are valuable to run on prospective employees.
Whether or not the Office of Public Instruction will heed the Montana Association of School Boards’ advice will be revealed in January, when the bus driver background check proposal goes before the state’s Board of Public Education.