Building the Bridge: From Early Childhood to K-12 Education

June 29, 2017 All Kansas kids deserve the best possible start in life. As legislators worked together to develop a new school finance formula this session and contemplated the level of funding needed to adequately meet the needs of all students, especially the most at-risk kids across the state, another important conversation emerged – the importance of investing in research-based … Read More

ACTION ALERT: Raising the bar, setting a deadline.

Did you hear the news?!  Last week, the state Supreme Court ruled that support for Kansas public schools is unconstitutionally low and the legislature must increase funding by June 30th. This has KAC like: Kansas’ premier early learning system cannot set the trajectory for a child’s life if K-12 schools lack the resources to build on the first five years of development. The … Read More

Helping Kansas kids “soar”

By Annie McKay KAC President and CEO Today, bi-partisan leaders of the Kansas Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee introduced a new proposal to tackle unintended consequences created by welfare restrictions enacted in 2015 and 2016. The “SOAR” Act (Strategic Opportunities to Achieve Results) offers a handful of commonsense ideas, but two components really excite us at Kansas Action for Children: … Read More

Child Care Changes Ahead

By Amanda Gress Director of Government Relations In 2014, Congress passed landmark legislation to improve and expand high-quality child care. It was a really big deal. Afterward, two national child policy experts came to Kansas to talk to stakeholders about the new law. They challenged us to “envision Kansas’ ideal child care system.” I remember writing that down and thinking, … Read More

Back to School: Nourishing Brains and Bellies

By Jake Frydman Outreach Specialist As Kansas children head back to school, they return to an environment designed to foster growth in their developing brains. Many kids, however, also look forward to the return of a different kind of nourishment that is far too often absent over the summer months. The kind of nourishment for growing bodies that comes from … Read More

Tax Policy, Budget Cuts Pose Health Risk to Kansas Children

By Amanda Gress Director of Government Relations Kansas policymakers’ refusal to revisit deep income tax cuts has once again harmed the health of Kansas children. In May, Governor Brownback announced a 4% reduction in reimbursement rates for KanCare, the state’s managed-care Medicaid program. These choices will ultimately make it more difficult for Kansas children covered by KanCare to go to … Read More

Welfare Restrictions vs. Reality: Why Kansas kids need a strong safety net

By Annie McKay KAC President & CEO Kansans are folks who respect hard work. Our “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality grew from our deep pioneer roots. It is both a quintessentially Kansan value and the crux of the American Dream. Unfortunately, the notion that Kansans receiving help from the government do not work hard has become a common … Read More

No regrets.

By Shannon Cotsoradis KAC President & CEO Few tasks are quite as daunting as writing a parting blog after nearly two decades at an organization. But on a recent visit to an early learning center in Seattle, I found my inspiration in a quote on the back of a bookmark that was a gift from one of the center’s children. … Read More

GUEST BLOG: Preschool funding

By John Schmader Retired brigadier general with the U.S. Army As a retired U.S. Army brigadier general, I know well about investments in our nation’s security. I think Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposed budget jeopardizes one of the most critical investments for our state and country’s future: early childhood education. In Kansas, seven out of 10 young adults ages 17 to … Read More