I'd also like to thank Alexandra Lampert for her excellent research assistance on CLETS
and the other members of the Primer research team who helped me better substantiate some of the legal and regulatory issues in data sharing: Che Banjoko, Masha Hansford, Jacob Russell, and Rebecca Weber.
However, Lungren said all schools, not just those in Los Angeles, are barred from examining applicants through CLETS because of a potential invasion of privacy.
CLETS could give employers access to such private information as minor drug offenses and arrests that didn't result in convictions, said Lungren spokesman Rob Stutzman.
Because of opposition from teachers unions, teaching candidates never were subjected to CLETS screening but always were hired pending results of fingerprint tests.
Mitchell and district officials tried unsuccessfully to persuade Lungren to reverse himself and allow school police to use CLETS.
Most school districts have not been using CLETS and therefore are not affected by Lungren's interpretation of the law.
Los Angeles Unified's loss of the CLETS checks does not affect teacher applicants because state law bars such inquiries on credentialed employees, Sales said.
Lungren sent the April 11 letter, interpreting 1979 case law, because two districts had requested use of CLETS, and he wanted to clarify that no school can use it to check the backgrounds of its own job applicants, Stutzman said.
It could not have happened in Los Angeles on April 15,'' when the district still was performing CLETS checks, Mitchell said.