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Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 16: Education

Chapter 005: SECRETARY OF EDUCATION

  • §§ 201-204. Repealed. 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 79.

  • § 205. Repealed. 1961, No. 31, § 3.


  • Subchapter 001: SECRETARY OF EDUCATION
  • § 211. Repealed. 2011, No. 98 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. January 1, 2013.

  • § 212. Secretary's duties generally

    The Secretary shall execute those policies adopted by the State Board in the legal exercise of its powers and shall:

    (1) Coordinate the educational work of the public schools with higher education in the State.

    (2) Identify the educational goals of the public schools, provide alternative methods of attaining those goals, and promote education in the State.

    (3) Evaluate the program of instruction in the public schools.

    (4) Advise the Legislature concerning proposed laws affecting the public schools.

    (5) Supervise and direct the execution of the laws relating to the public schools and ensure compliance.

    (6) Supervise the expenditure and distribution of all money appropriated by the State under the provisions of this title for public schools.

    (7) Arrange conferences and summer schools for superintendents and teachers and employ suitable speakers, lecturers, and instructors for the same; fix the amount of tuition for the instruction; provide for educational gatherings, institutes, summer schools, and other supplementary educational activities; and provide for cooperation with the Board of Libraries established by 22 V.S.A. § 602.

    (8) Inform citizens of the condition of and opportunities within the public education system and provide other educational publicity for the enlightenment and well-being of the citizens of the State.

    [Subdivision (9) effective until July 1, 2019; see also subdivision (9) effective July 1, 2019 set out below.]

    (9) Establish requirements for information to be submitted by school districts, including necessary statistical data and other information and ensure, to the extent possible, that data are reported in a uniform way.

    [Subdivision (9) effective July 1, 2019; see also subdivision (9) effective until July 1, 2019 set out above.]

    (9) Establish requirements for information to be submitted by school districts, including necessary statistical data and other information and ensure, to the extent possible, that data are reported in a uniform way. Data collected under this subdivision shall include budget surplus amounts, reserve fund amounts, and information concerning the purpose and use of any reserve funds.

    (10) Make recommendations to school boards regarding transportation policies.

    (11) Provide an educational facilities planning service to make available technical assistance and comprehensive information on school construction, school systems design, component technology and suppliers, and similar subjects to public schools, school districts, and independent schools, for the purpose of helping them to achieve flexibility and economy in construction, to retain the potential for modification and expansion of educational facilities, and to attain the lowest maintenance costs consistent with educational needs.

    (12) Distribute at his or her discretion upon request to approved independent schools appropriate forms and materials relating to the education quality standards for elementary and secondary students.

    (13) Ensure the provision of services to children and adolescents with a severe emotional disturbance in coordination with the Departments of Mental Health, for Children and Families, and of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living pursuant to the provisions of 33 V.S.A. chapter 43.

    (14) Annually, communicate to each superintendent a list of information that a supervisory union, a school board, a school district, a school, a school district employee, or a supervisory union employee is required under State or federal law to make available to the electorate, community members, parents, or students. It is the intent of this subdivision that the Secretary shall make a good faith effort to compile a complete list of the information to be made available. Due to the difficult nature of compiling such a list, it is also the intent that failure to include relevant information on the list shall not constitute grounds for an action against the Secretary.

    (15) Annually, with the Commissioner of Health, shall jointly inform superintendents and principals of appropriate practices regarding students with life-threatening allergies and chronic illnesses; and prepare and distribute policies, training materials, and school guidelines for managing students with life-threatening allergies and chronic illnesses, including family responsibilities, school responsibilities, and student responsibilities.

    (16) Annually, convene a meeting of directors of Vermont educator preparation programs and representatives of school boards, superintendents, principals, educators, and the Vermont Standards Board to determine subject and geographic areas in which there is a critical need for educators and to discuss ways to meet the need.

    (17) Encourage and facilitate collaboration among school districts and supervisory unions to share information and expertise regarding low-incidence special education needs.

    (18) Annually, inform superintendents and principals of regional resources available to assist schools to provide instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of automated external defibrillators and provide updated information to the education community regarding the provision of a comprehensive health education.

    (19) Establish an information clearinghouse and accessible database to help districts share information about educational programs and practices that improve student performance. Educational programs and practices include those designed to create and sustain a safe learning environment.

    (20) Develop, in consultation with the Secretary of State, and make available to school boards sample ballot language for issues that may be decided by Australian ballot and for which no statutory language exists.

    (21) Prepare a budget for the Agency and submit it to the Governor after review by the State Board.

    (22) Annually, prior to September 1, present the Governor's education policy priorities to the State Board. (Added 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 26; amended 1977, No. 224 (Adj. Sess.); 1987, No. 264 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1989, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1991, No. 24, § 11; 1999, No. 108 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 10, 2000; 2005, No. 127 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2005, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2005, No. 214 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2007, No. 82, § 25; 2011, No. 58, § 8, eff. May 31, 2011; 2011, No. 98 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. April 1, 2013; 2011, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 11, 2012; 2011, No. 151 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 16, 2012; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 28, eff. Feb. 14, 2014; 2015, No. 23, § 20; 2015, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. July 1, 2019.)

  • § 213. Deputy secretaries

    The Secretary shall employ such number of deputy secretaries as he or she deems necessary. (Added 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 26; amended 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 29, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)

  • § 214. Repealed. 1997, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 5.

  • § 215. Challenge to Excellence grants

    (a) Purpose and findings. It is a goal of the General Assembly to promote quality education for every Vermont child and to create an opportunity for every Vermont student to achieve his or her personal best, while respecting divergent student goals and personal learning styles and abilities. The General Assembly finds that a school's climate for learning is improved when parents, community members, and business leaders actively participate in promoting educational opportunities for every student. Further, it is the compassion and innovation of individual teachers and school personnel that often create the impetus for students to achieve excellence in education.

    (b) The Secretary shall establish and implement a Challenge to Excellence Grant Program for the purpose of promoting quality education for Vermont students. Eligible applicants include Vermont public schools, including regional career technical centers, and Vermont supervisory unions on behalf of a school or schools. All proposals shall be to develop or carry out a comprehensive plan, which may be an action plan pursuant to subdivision 165(a)(1) of this title, to create educational opportunities for each student within the school. Any plan shall be developed with the involvement of parents and other community members, staff, and business representatives, and shall be designed to assist students in meeting State Board and school board standards. Grants shall be for up to $50,000.00 and shall include a 1-1 match from other sources of funding, including grants from businesses, foundations, or other federal or local funding. Priority shall be given to schools that the Secretary finds are having difficulty meeting the quality standards listed in subsection 165(a) of this title or are making insufficient progress in improving student performance in relation to the standards set forth in subdivision 164(9) of this title. Eligible activities include:

    (1) a comprehensive planning and goal-setting process to promote a quality education for all students within the school;

    (2) activities to carry out a comprehensive plan to promote quality education for students within the school; and

    (3) innovative methods to create educational opportunities for students according to a comprehensive plan, including special classes and activities; mentorship; summer institutes on math, science, reading and language arts, social studies, service, the arts, or technology; partnerships for learning with businesses, postsecondary schools, and community organizations; tutorials; programs for at-risk or gifted students; and guidance, peer counseling, and career planning activities. (Added 1997, No. 60, § 7, eff. June 26, 1997; amended 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 30, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)

  • § 216. Redesignated. 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.


  • Subchapter 002: SUPERINTENDENTS
  • § 241. Appointment

    (a) Each supervisory union board, with the advice of the Secretary, may employ a superintendent of schools.

    (b) A superintendent shall be employed by written contract for a term not to exceed five years nor less than one year and shall work the number of hours required by contract, performing the duties designated in the contract or assigned by the board. A superintendent of schools may be dismissed for cause or as specified in the contract of employment.

    (c) Not later than May 15 of a year in which an incumbent superintendent's contract of employment expires, the supervisory union board shall meet to renew or act otherwise upon the superintendent's contract. If a supervisory union employs a superintendent, the supervisory union board shall specify and assign the duties of a superintendent. If the supervisory union board does not hire a superintendent, the board may assign any duties assigned to the superintendent under this title to the school principal or principals in the supervisory union or to other qualified persons designated by the board. (Added 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 27; amended 1991, No. 181 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1995, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 82, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 31, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)

  • § 242. Duties of superintendents

    The superintendent shall be the chief executive officer for the supervisory union board and for each school board within the supervisory union, and shall:

    (1) Carry out the policies adopted by the school boards relating to the educational or business affairs of the school district or supervisory union, and develop procedures to do so.

    (2) Prepare, for adoption by a local school board, plans to achieve the educational goals and objectives established by the school district.

    (3)(A) Nominate a candidate for employment by the school district or supervisory union if the vacant position requires a licensed employee; provided, if the appropriate board declines to hire a candidate, then the superintendent shall nominate a new candidate;

    (B) Select nonlicensed employees to be employed by the district or supervisory union; and

    (C) Dismiss licensed and nonlicensed employees of a school district or the supervisory union as necessary, subject to all procedural and other protections provided by contract, collective bargaining agreement, or provision of State and federal law.

    (4)(A) Provide data and information required by the Secretary.

    (B) Report all financial operations within the supervisory union to the Secretary and State Board for the preceding school year on or before August 15 of each year, using a format approved by the Secretary.

    (C) Report all financial operations for each member school district to the Secretary and State Board for the preceding school year on or before August 15 of each year, using a format approved by the Secretary.

    (D) Prepare for each district an itemized report detailing the portion of the proposed supervisory union budget for which the district would be assessed for the subsequent school year identifying the component costs by category and explaining the method by which the district's share for each cost was calculated; and provide the report to each district at least 14 days before a budget, including the supervisory union assessment, is voted on by the electorate of the district.

    (5) Work with the school boards of the member districts to develop and implement policies regarding minimum and optimal average class sizes for regular and career technical education classes. The policies may be supervisory union-wide, may be course- or grade-specific, and may reflect differences among school districts due to geography or other factors.

    (6) Arrange for the provision of the professional training required in subsection 561(b) of this title.

    (7) Provide for the general supervision of the public schools in the supervisory union or district. (Added 2003, No. 36, § 1; amended 2009, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. June 3, 2010; 2009, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; 2013, No. 56, § 12, eff. May 30, 2013; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 32, 302, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)

  • § 242a. Internal financial controls

    (a) The superintendent or his or her designee shall annually, on or before December 31, complete and provide to the supervisory union board and to all member district boards a copy of the document regarding internal financial controls made available by the Auditor of Accounts pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 163(11).

    (b) The supervisory union board shall review the document provided by the superintendent within two months of receiving it. (Added 2011, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 29.)


  • Subchapter 003: PRINCIPALS
  • § 243. Appointment; renewal; dismissal

    (a) Appointment. The school board of each school district operating a school, after recommendation by the superintendent, may designate a person as principal for each public school within the district, except that a principal may be selected to serve more than one school. In the case of a career technical center, only the school board that operates the center may designate a person as director. For purposes of this section, the word "principal" shall include a principal and the director of career technical education, and the term "public school" shall include a career technical center.

    (b) Length of contract. The principal shall be employed by written contract for a term of not less than one year nor more than three years.

    (c) Renewal and nonrenewal. A principal who has been continuously employed for more than two years in the same position has the right either to have his or her contract renewed, or to receive written notice of nonrenewal on or before February 1 of the year in which the existing contract expires. Nonrenewal may be based upon elimination of the position, performance deficiencies, or other reasons. The written notice shall recite the grounds for nonrenewal. If nonrenewal is based on performance deficiencies, the written notice shall be accompanied by an evaluation performed by the superintendent. At its discretion, the school board may allow a period of remediation of performance deficiencies prior to issuance of the written notice. After receiving such a notice, the principal may request in writing, and shall be granted, a meeting with the school board. Such request shall be delivered within 15 days of delivery of notice of nonrenewal, and the meeting shall be held within 15 days of delivery of the request for a meeting. At the meeting, the school board shall explain its position, and the principal shall be allowed to respond. The principal and any member of the board may present written information or oral information through statements of others, and the principal and the board may be represented by counsel. The meeting shall be in executive session unless both parties agree in writing that it be open to the public. After the meeting, the school board shall decide whether or not to offer the principal an opportunity to renew his or her contract. The school board shall issue its decision in writing within five days. The decision of the school board shall be final.

    (d) Dismissal. During the term of a contract, a principal may be dismissed by the board for just and sufficient cause by written notice setting forth the grounds therefor. The board may provide that its order shall take effect immediately, or following a hearing. In either case, the principal shall be given an opportunity to request in writing a hearing within the 15 days following delivery of the notice. Within 15 days following receipt of a request for hearing from the principal, the board shall conduct such a hearing. The clerk of the board shall advise the principal and the superintendent of the time and place of hearing by written notice at least five days before the date of the hearing. The hearing shall be in executive session unless both parties agree in writing that it be open to the public. The principal and any member of the board may present witnesses and written evidence and cross-examine witnesses, and the principal and the board may be represented by counsel. Either the principal or the school board may arrange for the taking of a verbatim record of the proceedings. After the hearing, the board shall affirm, modify, or reverse its earlier action. Within five days after the conclusion of evidence in the case, the board shall issue a written decision that includes findings of fact and conclusions of law. Within 30 days of the day the written decision is delivered, the principal may appeal to the Superior Court under the rules for appeals from decisions in contested cases.

    (e) Inclusion in contract. Every principal's contract shall be deemed to contain the provisions of this section. Any contract provision to the contrary is without effect. (Added 1977, No. 133 (Adj. Sess.); amended 1985, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.); 1989, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 302, eff. Feb. 14, 2014; 2017, No. 49, § 24, eff. May 23, 2017.)

  • § 244. Duties of principals

    (a) The principal shall perform all duties specifically assigned by law or by the superintendent of the school district including the administration of policies adopted by the school board. The principal shall be answerable to the superintendent in the performance of his or her duties.

    (b) Without the approval of the State Board, secondary school principals shall not be charged with supervisory responsibility outside the secondary school. (Amended 1983, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1987, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 33, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)

  • § 245. Principals; technical center directors; mentoring

    (a) When a school district hires a principal or a career technical center director who has not been employed previously in that capacity, the superintendent serving the district, in consultation with the Vermont Principals' Association, shall work to ensure that the new principal or technical center director receives mentoring supports during at least the first two years of employment. Mentoring supports shall be consistent with best practices, research-based approaches, or other successful models, and shall be identified jointly by the Vermont Principals' Association and the Vermont Superintendents Association.

    (b) When a school district hires a principal or career technical center director identified in subsection (a) of this section, the district shall allocate sufficient funds annually in the first two years of employment toward the cost of providing the mentoring supports from one or more of the following sources:

    (1) funds allocated by the district for professional development;

    (2) grant monies obtained for the purpose of providing mentoring supports;

    (3) State funds appropriated for the purpose of providing mentoring supports; or

    (4) other sources.

    (c) This section shall not be interpreted to prohibit or discourage a superintendent from working to ensure that any administrator other than those identified in subsection (a) of this section receives mentoring supports. (Added 2011, No. 20, § 1, eff. May 11, 2011; amended 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 302, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)


  • Subchapter 004: ACCESS TO CRIMINAL RECORDS
  • § 251. Policy

    It is the policy of the State of Vermont to use criminal record checks to deter abuse and exploitation of school children and to do so in a manner that protects, as much as is practicable, the privacy of those subject to such checks. (Added 1997, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 252. Definitions

    As used in this subchapter:

    (1) "Criminal record" means the record of:

    (A) convictions in Vermont, including whether any of the convictions is an offense listed in 13 V.S.A. § 5401(10) (sex offender definition for registration purposes); and

    (B) convictions in other jurisdictions recorded in other state repositories or by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

    (2) "School board" means the board of school directors of a school district or its equivalent in any independent school.

    (3) "School district" means, unless the context otherwise clearly requires, a school district or a supervisory union.

    (4) "Unsupervised" means not in the presence of a responsible adult in the employ of or under the direction of the independent school or school district.

    (5) "User agreement" means an agreement between the Vermont Crime Information Center and a party requesting and receiving criminal record information that requires the party to comply with all federal and State laws, rules, regulations, and policies regulating the release of criminal record information and the protection of individual privacy. (Added 1997, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2005, No. 54, § 17; 2009, No. 1, § 6b; 2009, No. 108 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • § 253. Confidentiality of records

    (a) Criminal records and criminal record information received under this subchapter are designated confidential unless, under State or federal law or regulation, the record or information may be disclosed to specifically designated persons.

    (b) The Secretary, a superintendent, or a headmaster may disclose criminal records and criminal record information received under this subchapter to a qualified entity upon request, provided that the qualified entity has signed a user agreement and received authorization from the subject of the record request. As used in this section, "qualified entity" means an individual, organization, or governmental body doing business in Vermont that has one or more individuals performing services for it within the State and that provides care or services to children, persons who are elders, or persons with disabilities as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 5119c. (Added 1997, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2013, No. 56, § 7c, eff. May 30, 2013.)

  • § 254. Educator licensure; employment of superintendents

    (a) The Secretary shall sign and keep a user agreement with the Vermont Crime Information Center.

    (b) The Secretary shall request and obtain from the Vermont Crime Information Center the criminal record for any person applying for an initial license as a professional educator or for reinstatement of a license that has lapsed pursuant to subdivision 256(a)(1)(C) of this title or for any person who is offered a position as superintendent of schools in Vermont.

    (c) A request made under subsection (b) of this section shall be accompanied by a release signed by the person on a form provided by the Vermont Crime Information Center, a set of the person's fingerprints, and a fee established by the Vermont Crime Information Center that shall reflect the cost of obtaining the record. The fee shall be paid by the applicant. The release form to be signed by the applicant shall include a statement informing the applicant of:

    (1) the right to challenge the accuracy of the record by appealing to the Vermont Crime Information Center pursuant to rules adopted by the Commissioner of Public Safety; and

    (2) the Secretary of Education's policy regarding maintenance and destruction of records and the person's right to request that the record or notice be maintained for purposes of using it to comply with future criminal record check requests made pursuant to section 256 of this title.

    (d) Upon completion of a criminal record check required by subsection (b) of this section, the Vermont Crime Information Center shall send to the Secretary either a notice that no record exists or a copy of the record. If a copy of a criminal record is received, the Secretary shall forward it to the person and shall inform the person in writing of:

    (1) the right to challenge the accuracy of the record by appealing to the Vermont Crime Information Center pursuant to rules adopted by the Commissioner of Public Safety; and

    (2) the Secretary of Education's policy regarding maintenance and destruction of records and the person's right to request that the record or notice be maintained for purposes of using it to comply with future criminal record check requests made pursuant to section 256 of this title.

    (e) The Secretary shall request and obtain information from the Child Protection Registry maintained by the Department for Children and Families and from the Vulnerable Adult Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Registry maintained by the Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living (collectively, the Registries) for any person for whom a criminal record check is required under subsection (b) of this section and shall request updated information for any person seeking renewal of a professional educator's license. The Departments for Children and Families and of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living shall adopt rules governing the process for obtaining information from the Registries and for disseminating and maintaining records of that information under this subsection. A person denied a license based upon information acquired under this subsection may appeal the decision pursuant to subsection 1696(f) of this title.

    (f) A person convicted of a sex offense that requires registration pursuant to 13 V.S.A. chapter 167, subchapter 3 shall not be eligible for an initial license as a professional educator, renewal of a license, reinstatement of a lapsed license, or employment as a superintendent of schools in Vermont under this section. (Added 1997, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2005, No. 182 (Adj. Sess.), § 18; 2009, No. 1, § 4, eff. Dec. 31, 2010; 2013, No. 56, § 6, eff. May 30, 2013; 2013, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 12.)

  • § 255. Public and independent school employees; contractors

    (a) Superintendents, headmasters of recognized or approved independent schools, and their contractors shall request criminal record information for the following:

    (1) the person a superintendent or headmaster is prepared to recommend for any full-time, part-time, or temporary employment;

    (2) any person directly under contract to an independent school or school district who may have unsupervised contact with school children;

    (3) any employee of a contractor under contract to an independent school or school district who is in a position that may result in unsupervised contact with school children;

    (4) any student working toward a degree in teaching who is a student teacher in a school within the superintendent's or headmaster's jurisdiction.

    (b) After signing a user agreement, a superintendent or a headmaster shall make a request directly to the Vermont Crime Information Center. A contractor shall make a request through a superintendent or headmaster.

    (c) A request made under subsection (b) of this section shall be accompanied by a set of the person's fingerprints and a fee established by the Vermont Crime Information Center that shall reflect the cost of obtaining the record from the FBI. The fee shall be paid in accordance with adopted school board policy.

    (d)(1) Upon completion of a criminal record check, the Vermont Crime Information Center shall send to the superintendent a notice that no record exists or, if a record exists, a copy of any criminal record.

    (2) Upon completion of a criminal record check, the Vermont Crime Information Center shall send to the headmaster a notice that no record exists or, if a record exists:

    (A) A copy of Vermont criminal convictions.

    (B) A notice of any criminal record that is located in either another state repository or FBI records, but not a record of the specific convictions. However, if there is a record relating to any crimes of a sexual nature involving children, the Vermont Crime Information Center shall send this record to the Secretary who shall notify the headmaster in writing, with a copy to the person about whom the request was made, that the record includes one or more convictions for a crime of a sexual nature involving children.

    (e) Information received by a superintendent or headmaster under subsection (d) of this section shall be forwarded as follows:

    (1) In the case of a request other than one made on behalf of a contractor, the superintendent or headmaster shall forward a copy of the information to the person about whom the request was made.

    (2) In the case of a request made on behalf of a contractor, the superintendent or headmaster shall inform the contractor in writing either that no record exists or that a record does exist but shall not reveal the content of the record to the contractor. The contractor shall then forward a copy of the information received to the person about whom the request was made.

    (f) Information sent to a person by the Secretary, a headmaster, a superintendent, or a contractor under subsection (e) of this section shall be accompanied by a written notice of the person's rights under subsection (g) of this section, a description of the policy regarding maintenance and destruction of records, and the person's right to request that the notice of no record or record be maintained for purposes of using it to comply with future criminal record check requests pursuant to section 256 of this title.

    (g)(1) Following notice that a headmaster was notified that a criminal record which is located in either another state repository or FBI records exists, a person may:

    (A) sign a form authorizing the Vermont Crime Information Center to release a detailed copy of the criminal record to the person; or

    (B) decline or resign employment.

    (2) Any person subject to a criminal record check pursuant to this section may challenge the accuracy of the record by appealing to the Vermont Crime Information Center pursuant to rules adopted by the Commissioner of Public Safety.

    (h) A superintendent or headmaster shall request and obtain information from the Child Protection Registry maintained by the Department for Children and Families and from the Vulnerable Adult Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Registry maintained by the Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living (collectively, the Registries) for any person for whom a criminal record check is required under subsection (a) of this section. The Department for Children and Families and the Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living shall adopt rules governing the process for obtaining information from the Registries and for disseminating and maintaining records of that information under this subsection.

    (i) A person convicted of a sex offense that requires registration pursuant to 13 V.S.A. chapter 167, subchapter 3 shall not be eligible for employment under this section.

    (j) The board of trustees of a recognized or approved independent school shall request a criminal record check and a check of the Registries pursuant to the provisions of this section prior to offering employment to a headmaster.

    (k) The requirements of this section shall not apply to superintendents and headmasters with respect to persons operating or employed by a child care facility, as defined under 33 V.S.A. § 3511, that provides prekindergarten education pursuant to section 829 of this title and that is required to be licensed by the Department for Children and Families pursuant to 33 V.S.A. § 3502. Superintendents and headmasters are not prohibited from conducting a criminal record check as a condition of hiring an employee to work in a child care facility that provides prekindergarten education operated by the school.

    (l) The requirements of this section shall not apply with respect to a school district's partners in any program authorized or student placement created by chapter 23, subchapter 2 of this title; provided, however, that superintendents are not prohibited from requiring a fingerprint-supported record check pursuant to district policy with respect to its partners in such programs. (Added 1997, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2009, No. 1, § 5, eff. Dec. 31, 2010; 2009, No. 108 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2011, No. 31, § 3, eff. May 17, 2011; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 35, eff. Feb. 14, 2014; 2013, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; 2017, No. 49, § 34, eff. May 23, 2017.)

  • § 256. Continued validity of criminal record check; maintenance of records

    (a)(1) Anyone required to request a criminal record check under this subchapter about a person who previously has undergone a check, regardless of whether the check was for student teaching, licensure, or employment purposes, shall comply with that requirement by acquiring the results of the previous criminal record check unless:

    (A) the person refuses to authorize release of the information;

    (B) the record no longer exists;

    (C) since the record check, there has been a period of one year or more during which the person has not worked for a Vermont school district or a recognized or an approved independent school; or

    (D) as otherwise required by this chapter.

    (2) Anyone required to request a criminal record check under this subchapter about a person who has previously undergone a check may request a name and date of birth or fingerprint-supported recheck of the criminal record at any time during the course of the record subject's employment in the capacity for which the original check was required. Rechecking criminal records may be accomplished through a subscription service.

    (b) A superintendent or headmaster who receives criminal record or registry information under this subchapter shall maintain the record or information pursuant to the user agreement for maintenance of records. At the end of the time required by the user agreement for maintenance of the information, the superintendent or headmaster shall destroy the information in accordance with the user agreement unless the person authorizes maintenance of the record. If authorized by the person, the superintendent or headmaster shall:

    (1) if the information is a notice of no criminal record, securely maintain the information indefinitely; or

    (2) if the information is a criminal record or notice of the existence of a criminal record, send it to the Secretary for secure maintenance in a central records repository.

    (c) Upon authorization by the person, the Secretary shall release information maintained in the central records repository to a requesting superintendent or, in the case of a requesting headmaster, to the person. The Secretary shall maintain the notice or record in the repository at least until the person ceases working for a Vermont school district or independent school for a period of one year or more or until the person requests that the record be destroyed.

    (d) The State Board may adopt rules regarding maintenance of records. (Added 1997, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2009, No. 1, § 6, eff. Dec. 31, 2010; 2013, No. 56, § 7, eff. May 30, 2013; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 36, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)

  • § 257. Fees for fingerprinting; fingerprint fee special fund

    State, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies may charge a fee of up to $15.00 for providing applicants or other individuals with a set of classifiable fingerprints as required by this subchapter. No fee shall be charged to retake fingerprints determined by the Vermont Crime Information Center not to be classifiable. Fees collected by the State of Vermont under this section shall be credited to the Fingerprint Fee Special Fund established and managed pursuant to 32 V.S.A. chapter 7, subchapter 5, and shall be available to the Department of Public Safety to offset the costs of providing these services. (Added 1997, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 258. Notice; license applications; job applications; employees

    (a) Each application for an initial teaching license shall contain a statement that the applicant will be required to undergo a criminal record check, including an FBI fingerprint record check, and that receipt of the license may be dependent upon the results of the check.

    (b) Each job application provided by a school district or independent school shall contain a statement that, if the superintendent or headmaster is prepared to recommend the person for a job, the applicant will be required to undergo a criminal record check, including an FBI fingerprint record check, and that employment may be dependent upon the results of the check. (Added 1997, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 259. Penalties; remedy

    (a) A person who, without authorization, discloses criminal record check information received under this subchapter shall be fined not more than $2,000.00. Each unauthorized disclosure shall constitute a separate violation.

    (b) A person who suffers damages as a result of willful unauthorized disclosure of criminal record check information received under this subchapter may recover those damages together with reasonable attorney's fees in a civil action.

    (c) In addition to any other penalties described in this section, the Secretary may initiate a review of the professional licensure of any person who willfully discloses criminal record check information received under this subchapter. (Added 1997, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 37, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)

  • § 260. School board policies

    Each school board shall adopt a policy on supervision of volunteers and work study students. Policies shall require that superintendents, headmasters of recognized or approved independent schools, and their contractors check the names and birth dates of any work study students with the Vermont Internet Sex Offender Registry prior to allowing work study students unsupervised contact with schoolchildren. A person who is on the Registry shall not be eligible to be a work study student. (Added 1997, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2009, No. 1, § 7b, eff. March 4, 2009; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 38, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)