Thanks to an idea suggested by one school district employee, now all North Carolina school districts can do criminal background checks on job applicants quickly and cheaply right from their desktop computers. But some privacy advocates worry that the ease with which these checks can be done could lead to abuses of the system.

State law requires schools to conduct criminal background checks on prospective employees. But to do a thorough check, the process traditionally has required a staff member to visit each county courthouse in the state and check records in each one separately.

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