State fee waived for veteran teacher fingerprint resubmission
Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes worked with officials at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation recently to waive the $39.50 state fees that were being charged to veteran teachers having to resubmit their fingerprints for background checks.
The issue with the fingerprints was discovered around Sept. 2015 when a review of the Colorado Department of Education's educator licensure database found that some educator licensees' records did not include the required background check results originally received from both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
The reason the records went missing is unknown at this point but it is suspected that something went wrong when the records were transmitted from either CBI or FBI in 2004 when CDE was implementing changes to the state law requiring educator background checks.
This problem affects about approximately 3,000 active educators who were issued licenses from 1997 to 2003. The issue does not pose a safety risk for our students. CBI has records of the educators’ fingerprints and background checks.
Nevertheless, this record-keeping error must be corrected. Though both CBI and FBI have background checks for these individuals, CDE does not have those on file, which is required by state law. Therefore, these educators must resubmit their fingerprints to CBI so that their background check results can be transmitted to CDE. Because background check results are considered private information, state law requires educators to signify their approval to transmit the results to CDE by submitting their fingerprints.
Agreement to waive fees
CDE sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience this fingerprint resubmission may cause those veteran teachers affected. The department understands that this may present a financial hardship for some teachers, and therefore has waived the $40 fee typically charged for this type of submission.
In addition, following a conversation between Commissioner Katy Anthes, CBI and FBI, the CBI also recently agreed to waive its $39.50 processing fee.
CDE is working with CBI to identify the process for these waivers and will notify educators of the process for obtaining a fingerprinting fee waiver as soon as possible. It is important to note that this process will take some time to formalize and ensure consistency and clarity for all educators who must be reprinted.
Already paid fees and resubmitted fingerprints?
Experienced teachers who have already paid the fees and resubmitted their fingerprints will be reimbursed through a process that is still being worked out.
For the approximately 1,900 educators who have already resubmitted fingerprints and paid the $39.50 CBI fee, a process for a refund is underway. While these processes are being developed, notifications to educators have been paused. Notifications will resume as soon as the systems and processes are finalized.
CDE expects to be able to finalize processes with CBI before the beginning of March.