New law removes Ala. teachers with felonies

MONTGOMERY – Governor Bob Riley on Wednesday signed into law legislation that means public schools no longer have to pay teachers who have been convicted of major felonies or of sex offenses involving children.

The legislation passed 101-0 in the House of Representatives and 33-0 in the Senate.

Governor Riley thanked Representative Chad Fincher, the bill's sponsor, for his leadership in getting the bill passed.

"Representative Fincher deserves every parent's thanks and appreciation," said Governor Riley. "He's done an outstanding job to make sure this bill gets passed."

The bill was filed in response to the case of a Washington County teacher who was convicted of child enticement but continued to receive her pay while serving a prison sentence.

"That situation pointed out a major problem with our state's tenure system, but not the only problem.  This bill hopefully starts the process of addressing those other problems," said Representative Fincher.

The new law revises Alabama's teacher tenure law to terminate employment and pay upon conviction.  In addition to sex offenses involving children, the new law covers Class A felonies such as murder, first-degree rape, first-degree arson, first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary.

The new law goes into effect immediately.

Information Source: Governor Riley's office