Teachers, workers at child care centers and school bus drivers are among those who will soon be required to submit fingerprints for criminal background checks under a new Massachusetts law.
Gov. Deval Patrick signed the bill saying that it closes a loophole in existing state law and will help protect children.
Under the new law, the fingerprints will be submitted to the state police for a state criminal history check and forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national background check.
All newly hired teachers, bus drivers and others working at schools will be required to undergo the background checks before the start of the next school year.
Current employees must undergo the checks before the 2016-2017 school year.
Previously schools were only allowed to conduct background checks for crimes committed inside Massachusetts.