Alabama teacher draws salary while in prison

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama State Department of Education has taken the first step in trying to revoke the certification of a convicted teacher who continues to draw her salary while in federal prison.

Department spokesman Michael Sibley said former Washington County teacher Charlene Schmitz took part in the revocation hearing July 31 via teleconference.

She is serving a 10-year term in a federal prison in Tallahassee, Fla., following a February 2008 conviction of enticing a 14-year-old boy for sex, and still faces state charges.

She's still getting paid under Alabama's teacher tenure law because a guaranteed arbitration hearing has been put on indefinite hold while she appeals her conviction.

Sibley said Friday that state education officials are hoping to make the pay issue moot by revoking Schmitz' certificate from the state level.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.