Kansas Action for Children

Dave Ranney, Heartland Health Monitor

An advocacy group is saying that Gov. Sam Brownback’s latest plan to avert a budget deficit will hurt some of the state’s poorest children. Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean has more on concerns being raised by children’s advocates.


Kansas child care advocates say the state’s new welfare law could jeopardize a $42 million federal grant. State officials disagree.

The welfare law at issue was passed by conservative Republicans to tighten eligibility requirements and move low-income Kansans off welfare and into jobs.

Some of the changes in the law could make it harder for some welfare recipients to maintain their eligibility without interruption, says Shannon Cotsoradis, CEO of the nonprofit advocacy group Kansas Action for Children.

KHI.org/Annie E. Casey Foundation

An annual survey that charts the well-being of children in the state shows that Kansas is making progress in some areas but is falling behind in others. Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean has more on the Kids Count rankings.

Kansas retained its overall ranking of 15th in this year’s Kids Count rankings compiled by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Kansas Action for Children

A Topeka-based children’s advocacy group says legislators’ inability to keep their hands out of a pot of money meant to permanently fund children’s programs in Kansas has drained that funding nearly dry.

Kansas Action for Children says the fund was established to invest the proceeds of a multi-state tobacco settlement to pay for programs to benefit kids in Kansas. KAC President and CEO Shannon Cotsoradis says instead, lawmakers have tapped it again and again over the last 15 years, to the tune of almost $200 million, to support other budget priorities.

Kansas is the 16th best state in the nation, in terms of overall child well-being according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, in this year's KIDS COUNT Data Book. The report covers 16 measures of child health, economic well-being, family and community, and education. But while Kansas is in the top-third overall, the economic picture for kids in Kansas is not so bright.

Kansas lawmakers spared early childhood programs from the budget axe this year, but advocates for those programs say children didn't fare well overall in the 2013 legislative session.

The top concern, according to April Holman of the non-profit Kansas Action for Children, is that lawmakers balanced the budget using more than $9 million dollars that should have gone into an endowment for early childhood funding.

As Kansas lawmakers continue to search for common ground on a budget, an advocacy group says the long-term future of early childhood programs is at stake.

So far, the competing versions of a state budget for 2014 have all included Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan to transfer $9.5 million dollars from the Children’s Initiative Fund to the State General Fund.