Phoenix Talks About Background Checks For School Workers

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - We are learning more about what goes into background checks for temporary employees working inside the Huntsville City School District. This follows a Taking Action report you first saw on WHNT News 19 earlier this week.

Concerns were raised by an anonymous employee who sent us a letter questioning the use of temporary employees from multiple firms for various support positions.

Phoenix is a non-profit that helps connect disabled people with entry-level jobs. Their quest to help find those jobs brought them to the Huntsville City Schools. There are 54 Phoenix contracted custodial workers  currently working for the district, all of whom have gone through national background checks before being hired. The nonprofit is one of many that the school district contracts with for temporary jobs and support positions.

Bryan Dodson is the president and CEO at Phoenix.

"The system has a very specific set of criteria that they require us to vet within that background check and we follow that completely," Dodson told WHNT News 19.

Background checks began months before any contracted workers walked through the front doors of local schools.
'Everyone of them has a national background check, so we have checked criminal backgrounds in all 50 states and the District of Columbia," Dodson added.

Not everyone who applied for one of the custodial jobs qualified.

"We had four people apply who did not pass the background checks and therefore did not get hired."

Phoenix employees are also contracted on Redstone Arsenal where they have to go through even more layers of security clearance.

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