Criminal background checks for Maine school employees are proceeding well ahead of the program's scheduled five-year phase-in period, state officials say.

About half of Maine's 47,000 school employees have been fingerprinted over the past year, and the state is struggling to update employees' licenses to work.

Judith Lucarelli, deputy commissioner of the Department of Education, said that as of Nov. 15, 6,347 teachers and administrators, 7,707 teacher's aides, and 6,659 bus drivers,

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