State lawmakers vote to remove convicted teachers

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Legislature has passed a bill that would stop public schools from continuing to pay the salary of teachers convicted of major felonies or sex offenses involving a child.

The Senate voted 33-0 to approve the bill Thursday. The bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Chad Fincher of Semmes, cleared the Houses in February. The bill now goes to the governor.

The bill was filed because of the case of Washington County teacher Charlene Schmitz. Schmitz was convicted of child enticement and continued to receive pay while serving a 10-year federal prison sentence. She was paid $164,429 before the pay was stopped in November.

Fincher's bill terminates employment and stops pays upon conviction. His bill was supported by the Alabama Education Association.

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