Archive for Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kansas governor schedules public meetings focused on child poverty

October 18, 2011


— Gov. Sam Brownback on Tuesday announced three meetings next month focused on improving the lives of Kansas children.

“The goal of the town hall meetings is to gather insights and strategies to reduce childhood poverty, increase childhood educational outcomes and decrease child abuse and neglect,” Brownback said.

The meetings will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Jack Reardon Convention Center in Kansas City, Kan.; Nov. 16 at the Drury Hotel in Wichita; and Nov. 17 at the Dennis Perryman Athletic Complex in Garden City.

Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr. will oversee the meetings.

“What has been done in the past clearly didn’t work,” Siedlecki said. “We are looking for new ideas, new approaches, and believe Kansans can provide us with ideas that will help us rise to meet this challenge,” he said.

In 2010, 23.7 percent of Kansas children were living in poverty.


tolawdjk 6 years, 6 months ago

What we need to do is get these poor kids married to each other. Marriage has shown to improve family outlooks and make voters happy. Also, if we take two poor kids and marry them, we no longer have child poverty. We have married family poverty. And we've already determined that marriage helps brings families out of poverty.

More mariages equals less poor kids.

hujiko 6 years, 6 months ago

“The goal of the town hall meetings is to gather insights and strategies to reduce childhood poverty, increase childhood educational outcomes and decrease child abuse and neglect,” Brownback said.

Reducing unwanted pregnancies by means of sexual education, contraception, family planning, or abortion would help, but I doubt Brownback wants anyone to use any of those things.

Big Government, right?

bunnyhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

If the governor were REALLY interested, he would schedule these meetings in more than three towns. AND, he would schedule the meetings in the evenings when more working parents could attend.

But, really, he shouldn't need to talk to anyone to grasp the mind-numbing totality of the damage to already struggling families that his policies have inflicted on decent Kansans and their children since he took office.

Limiting access to mental health services has a direct effect on parents' ability to care for their children. Limiting access to SRS offices where parents can obtain services and other social supports (like Vocational Rehabilitation), has a direct effect on parents' ability to provide for their children.

Governor Brownback has been so intent upon the interests of the unborn and the unwed that he has thrown low income and poor Kansas children under the rails of his runaway train of disastrous policies.

chootspa 6 years, 6 months ago

Indeed. He'd also make sure there was access to adequate nutrition and health screenings fro children, and he might make sure they don't live in a violent home. If he really wanted to improve the "educational outcomes," he'd make sure all those kids had access to high quality preschools, but he's not interested in hearing that idea, either, because he wants to push the ALEC agenda of charters.

bolshavik_vw 6 years, 6 months ago

Please do you actually think he is going to do something good for the children? Please get real?? He is only doing this to improve his image. (Well that is what he wants you to think, And only way he could improve his image, is to get out of office.)

FlintHawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Help me understand this. Please. He decimates funding for children in poverty (SRS), closes SRS offices around the state, rewrites mental health regulations so it's harder for children in poverty to get therapeutic help, reduces education funding which affects all kids including children in poverty, etc etc etc,,,, I'm sure I'm leaving things out. Oh, yeah: Health care.

So what is the purpose of these meetings? What is Bb going to do with the "strategy" that will, allegedly, emerge?

Given Bb's actions since he took office, how can we read this story and think that the meetings are nothing more than PR, pandering, hypocritical balderdash? Maybe he hopes that whoever reads this article and those to follow will think he's really DOING something to help the children of Kansas?

This administration is smoke & mirrors behind which he and his cronies demolish my state.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

Not to worry. After these PR meetings, he'll have a secret group of experts who for $75,000 apiece will tell us what the Koch Bros intend to do with their tax cuts-- maybe even including some coloring books extolling the values of the "free market" for those poor kids.

chootspa 6 years, 6 months ago

He'll argue for tax cuts for "job providers," tax payments to churches for prayer-based marriage counseling, and charter schools that pay non-KPERs eligible teachers lower wages and have access to school district real estate at fire sale prices. None of these have evidence that they work, but that's ok. He even had town halls before cramming these ill-advised new policies down our throats, so clearly he's listened to the people.

I hope the people show up and tell him what they really think. In front of cameras.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 6 months ago

Brownback is campaigning. His hope is that voters will forget by the time election day comes around?

pace 6 years, 6 months ago

I am praying that he doesn't do the same for children as he did to help the arts and education. Maybe he will spare the children.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 6 months ago

Pity the children. Sam's Muscular businessman jesus doesn't care for them the way the original ESSENE TEACHER did. Poor people chose the wrong parents.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 6 months ago

23.7%? That's almost 1 in 4. Bet it's higher by the time he leaves office.Good job Brownie.

kernal 6 years, 6 months ago

Too late, Governor. You put your cart before the horse, removed the wheels from the cart then killed the horse. Now you want feedback from your constituents?

I hope someone has a brilliant new idea that will fix what's been undone and that you will have the backbone not to pass it off as your own. But, I'm not holding my breath.

sci4all 6 years, 6 months ago

Part of the plan is to eliminate/reduce SRS benefits for US-born children whose parents are here illegally. See p. 4 of the SRS memo at

Rev. Sam is simply following Numbers 14:18 - "The LORD is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation."

chootspa 6 years, 6 months ago

PS, what would Seidlecki know about what we did in the past? He was too busy neglecting his wife and kids in Florida back then.

Kate Rogge 6 years, 6 months ago

Wait, wait! I've got it. Eliminate social services and ask the CHURCHES to support all poor children in Kansas. What a surprise. Why bother with the circus of public forums?

overthemoon 6 years, 6 months ago

I can predict that the solution will be privatized charter schools, reduction of head start programs, elimination of women's and children's health care options, and creation of a few minimum wage jobs.

chootspa 6 years, 6 months ago

Bingo. Forget about all that evidence says this "solution" will make the problem even worse.

Alceste 6 years, 6 months ago

The first thing we need to do is to make it more difficult for adults to apply for SNAP (food stamp) assistance. We want to be certain children go to bed hungry at night, right, Gov. Brownback?

Next, we want to make certain that the Medicaid reimbursement rates are further reduced so doctors will be less inclined to accept children who are recipients of Medicaid; right, Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr. ? We also want to continue to encourage dentists to REFUSE to accept Medicaid reimbursement. How many dentists in the state of Kansas accept Medicaid? Can three even be named?

We have all these impoverished children stealing money and benefits from the state of Kansas we've simply got to do something about it; Right, ALEC members of the Kansas Legislature?

Nah, it would be too much like right to ENCOURAGE families to make application for SNAP (foodstamps) by having application kisoks all about the state; in Wal-Mart's; Dillon's; Family Dollar stores, etc. We can't do the right thing.

The National Center for Children in Poverty has noted at least 17% of Kansas' children live in poor families which means below 100% of the federal poverty level.

The Children's Defense Fund has found:

Child Poverty in Kansas Number of poor children (and percent poor) 121,395(17.6%) Number of children living in extreme poverty (and percent in extreme poverty) 46,790(6.8%) Number of adults and children receiving cash assistance from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) 37,771 Maximum monthly TANF cash assistance for a family of three $429

The CDF has also identified that only 57% of those children eligible for SNAP (foodstamps) receive them in Kansas.

Child Hunger in Kansas Number of children who receive food stamps 84,907 Percent of eligible persons who receive food stamps 57% Number of children in the School Lunch Program (free and reduced price only) 166,121 Number of children in the Summer Food Service Program 17,225 Number of women and children receiving WIC (Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) 73,238

We have got to lower this atrocious mis-use of money. Sending a child to bed hungry is the only way we're going to help these bums on Public Assistance; isn't that right Mr. Brownback and Mr. Siedlecki?

What clearly hasn't worked has been the grossly underfunded efforts to eliminate poverty in Kansas.

Perhaps the best thing to do is to remove all these children from these terrible homes and place them in state care. Then, they can each be assigned a CASA who will "advocate" for them. Yeah...that's the plan. Let's get them CASA types on the job.

In Hard Times, Kansans Like to Blame the Poor.

pentiuman 6 years, 6 months ago

Brownback usually only attacks those who deserve his scorn and bad ideas - the poor, the children, and the homeless - why? They don't count, because they don't vote. Now, if he could only add some other, socially weak class of people to go after. Perhaps the old and disabled? No, he's already attacked programs and support for them. Maybe Brownback should go after domestic violence victims and unwed mothers?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

"They don't count, because they don't vote."

And more importantly, they don't make large campaign contributions.

Alceste 6 years, 6 months ago

As Wilfred has dutifuly noted in his discussions with Ryan on the television program "WILFRED":

"It's for poor people, so nobody's going to care if you don't try too hard."

In Hard Times, Kansans Like to Blame the Poor.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 6 months ago

"sunflower-voter (anonymous) says… Wait, wait! I've got it. Eliminate social services and ask the churches to support all poor children in Kansas. What a surprise. Why bother with the circus of public forums?" === Exactamundo! This, in a nutshell, is the policy of the C-Street Cult, AKA "The Family." They have been working on just this topic since the 1930's and have been training Muscular Sam since about 1979. "People get ready; there's a train a comin.'

tomatogrower 6 years, 6 months ago

He'll probably bring back child labor. After all, if they are poor, it's their own fault for not working hard enough.

Hadley_says 6 years, 6 months ago

& us too. That is all Les ever sends. And for some reason nobody will talk to him. And Les can't figure that out.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 6 months ago

Being poor does not mean you are a bad parent. You might be a great parent in unfortunate circumstances.

We should keep in mind that we ourselves could easily end up in those same circumstances.

Stereotyping is one of the reasons people end up struggling to get out of poverty. Children will tend to live up to our expectations and if they are low, we become part of the problem.

Helping small businesses to sponsor their own training programs for new hires and getting educational institutions to partner with private businesses to train employees is a great way to give people a leg up.

These programs get good results and they are good for everyone.

Politicians should use the bully pulpit to encourage training programs and adult education that is practical and useful. Only by partnering with private businesses can this have a successful outcome.

parrothead8 6 years, 6 months ago

All of these problems will be solved by tax cuts. The rich will get richer, and soon their compassionate hearts will cause them to put some of their hard-earned cash back into the economy. Trickle-down economics is an awesome thing. They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time.

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