Imprisoned with Pay

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The State Department of Education is going after the certification of a Washington County teacher who is still drawing her salary despite being in prison for a federal conviction.

General counsel Larry Craven said Thursday that the department will seek to revoke Charlene Schmitz' teaching certificate on the grounds that she was convicted on two federal counts of child enticement in February 2008.

The 56-year-old Schmitz was terminated in May 2008, but has continued drawing benefits and her annual salary of more than
$51,000 because she is appealing the firing.

That is allowed under a change made to the teacher tenure act in
2004, but Craven says pay can be stopped if the employee is no
longer certified and thus cannot be employed as a teacher in the

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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