HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – A new law sets tighter restrictions on the ability of Pennsylvania schools to employ people who have been in trouble with the law.

In the past, Pennsylvania school employees were subject to a background check at the time of hiring. State Education Department spokesman Tim Eller says they will now be required to self-report all past and future arrests and convictions for 27 specified offenses. Eller acknowledges there is some dispute over the department’s interpretation that the law requires past arrests be reported and he says it’ll be up to local districts to determine what if any action should be taken when an employee discloses a past arrest that did not result in a conviction.

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“The Department of Education is of the opinion that, depending on the nature of the arrest, the local school or school official would make the determination as to whether that employee should remain in the classroom.”

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The law also expands the list of offenses that result in a lifetime ban on holding school jobs that require contact with students.

Reported by Harrisburg Bureau Chief Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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