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Should volunteers pay for background check?

District should pay, board member says

ROCK FALLS – Members of the Montmorency school board expressed differences Wednesday over whether they should require volunteers to pay for background checks.

During their monthly meeting, member Chad Goff said people giving their time shouldn’t have to pay the $36 for fingerprinting, which is part of the background checks required of adults who work with children as coaches and in other roles. The district should foot that bill, he said.

Superintendent John Rosenberry said the board decided a few years ago to stop funding stipends and background checks for volunteers. That was done to help offset a shortfall in the school district’s main education fund, he said.

“There was a money crunch,” he said.

Board President Mike Lewis said if the district pays for a volunteer’s fingerprinting and the person quits shortly after, the district is out the $36. He said he figured volunteers should be able to pay the $36.

“If you’re going to coach, $36 is $36,” Lewis said.

“Have you coached here?” Goff asked.

Lewis said he hadn’t but that it didn’t matter.

Goff repeated that he didn’t think volunteers should have to pay.

“We disagree,” Lewis said.

The two said they would talk later.

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