School Bus Driver Background Checks Lacking: Audit

The report echoes an NBC Connecticut Investigates story from 2017.

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Background checks for school bus drivers need improvement, according to a new state audit that reinforces what NBC Connecticut Investigates reported two years ago.

State auditors were studying background checks done in the period between 2015 and 2017, right around the time we aired a two-part series on school bus driver background checks.

The audit, released Thursday, says just a small number of law enforcement agencies are reporting when school bus drivers are arrested or have serious motor vehicle violations.

Officials from the state Department of Motor Vehicles told auditors they sometimes rely on news reports to learn of felony arrests involving school bus drivers.

Auditors said the breakdown involves several state agencies using outdated software and lacking proper staffing to check on school bus drivers.

Both the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection told auditors they are taking steps to modernize their systems to improve the background checks on school bus drivers.

The audit said one of the software programs used by one of the agencies is over 30 years old.

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