…when education students are required to have fingerprint background checks in order to do internships in local school districts.

I say that not so much as an indictment against school districts, who surely have the best interest of their students in mind. Locally, districts are probably worried about incidents like the Jon White molestation scandal in Urbana, IL, among other possibilities.

But of course it trickles down: now I, a relatively impoverished (and definitely heavily indebted) college student, am forced to pay $35 that I can’t really afford in order to prove that I have no criminal background so that I can complete the requirements for my degree. I can’t really expect school districts to pay for it, since 1) they have other things to pay for (although it would be a good investment in the future of education) and 2) which school district should have the responsibility of paying for a student when that student will likely have internships at several different schools over the course of the program? So this is the best of a number of less than ideal outcomes.

Of course, I’ll suck it up and do it, just like I have for the IL state tests, because $35 isn’t enough to stand between me and my vocation of choice (if I can be permitted that somewhat oxymoronic statement).

On the other hand, it is a little disconcerting that the fine print on the authorization form requires me to approve the transmission of this information to the Illinois State Police and the FBI. (Although this could make for an interesting real-life connection when I teach 1984 in the spring…)