State audit of school bus drivers finds gaps in driver background checks

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Some parents have been left concerned after an audit found serious gaps in background checks for school bus drivers.

The state audit found that the Department of Motor Vehicles doesn't even know if school bus companies are checking for criminal records. It says there are plenty of chances for someone to fall through the cracks.

The audit also says once drivers are on the job, follow-up checks are "incomplete." Auditors say a big part of the problem is outdated computer systems, which make it hard to cross-check national databases.

They also say police aren't always notifying the DMV when a driver is arrested for a felony. The audit, which covers 2015 through 2017, suggests more oversight of bus companies and better databases.

Good news coming from the report is that auditors did not cite any specific examples of criminals falling through the cracks.

The DMV responded in a statement, saying, "The Audit on the Department of Motor Vehicles Background Check Process for Student Transportation Employees covers the years 2015-2017 and was completed December 2018 under the prior administration. The new administration is already addressing many of the recommendations, including discussions with the Department of Children and Families on handling inquiries about existing license holders, continuing to issue law enforcement bulletins to police departments, updating our procedures, and investing in technology."

 

 

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