Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Brownback budget plan reduces early childhood grants, increases reading initiative

January 20, 2013


— In his State of the State speech last week, Gov. Sam Brownback said he wants to spend $12 million to help young students who are having trouble learning to read so that they are reading proficiently by the fourth grade.

"Passing children up the grade ladder when we know they can't read is irresponsible and is cruel," Brownback said.

Brownback's budget proposal provides $12 million for his Kansas Reads to Succeed initiative, but it cuts $9.2 million from early childhood block grants that fund programs that help children from birth to age 5.

Shannon Cotsoradis, president and chief executive officer of Kansas Action for Children, said that "defies logic."

"We support investments in literacy, but it doesn't make sense at the expense of early intervention," Cotsoradis said.

Brownback has often said one of the goals of his administration is to increase the percentage of fourth-graders reading at grade level.

Rich Minder, collaborative projects coordinator of Success By 6 Coalition of Douglas County, which receives funding from the early childhood grant program, said early childhood programs will help accomplish that goal.

"The roots of reading problems of kids who don't catch up in fourth grade often are related to infancy and early childhood," Minder said.

Minder, a former president of the Lawrence school board, said he was troubled by several parts of Brownback's speech. At one point, Brownback said the state must prioritize its spending.

"Our schools only get 54 cents of every valuable education dollar into the classroom," he said.

Minder said that figure depends on what you count as classroom expenses.

"You can work those numbers and say whatever you want. I don't think the claim is very productive at this point," he said.


handlon 1 year, 2 months ago

Kansasfaithful is a moron....honestly. You do not know what you are talking about. 89 percent of Kansas 4 th graders read at the proficient level or above according to The Kansas State Department of Education.


Brock Masters 1 year, 2 months ago

Not that he doesn't deserve all the criticism he gets, but good thing for all you Brownback critics that he is white otherwise you'd be racist.


Dan Eyler 1 year, 2 months ago

i couldnt agree with you more about all those dim-whits in the legislature representing Lawrence.


Dan Eyler 1 year, 2 months ago

I think its a reasonable plan. This is just another demonstration of layer upon layer of funding for education but in all reality non of it is working very well. We have a huge problem with kids between 5th grade and 8th grade where the schools are failing. Early childhood development is basically childcare at taxpayer expense. We have so many different taxpayer agencies for kids and now we have ran out of taxpayer money to pay for them all. As for the black population with 70-75% of the families fatherless and their only survival at the hands of government assistance, 15-50% unemployment there is no among of assistance to fix that problem. But we keep promoting the same government enslaving programs that produce not a single positive result that creates independence in their lives. Save the stats just look at results.


mikekt 1 year, 2 months ago

What do you expect from Governor Sam ????? He is, after all, a product of public education, kansas schools and universities,.........along with many of the dim-whits in the state legislature !!!!!


Centerville 1 year, 2 months ago

So prove the relationship between 'early intervention' and the ability to read by age 10. Should be an easy data point to find.


nneil 1 year, 2 months ago

Awesome--I teach in one of these classrooms. They are going to use the fourth grade scores to determine what centers get to keep their preschool grant funded classrooms. Schools with good scores will be cut, and schools with poor scores will get the funding. My schools scores are good, so my program will be cut. Guess early childhood education is not beneficial and I will be put into a different grade.


Richard Heckler 1 year, 2 months ago

Charles and David Koch Puppet Show, featuring Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.“think-tank”-machine-koch-industries-americans-for-prosperity-americans-for-prosperity-foundation-reason-foundation-cato


verity 1 year, 2 months ago

Somebody is very creative to keep coming up with these destructive, retrograde ideas, although I suspect it's not Gov Brownback, he's just the puppet. Just think what they could accomplish if they were trying to do good rather than evil. Such a sad waste in the service of that highest of all Gods, Money.

Studying history, one sees that people like the Kochs and Brownback really think that they are entitled, and in some cases anointed by God, to have this kind of power over the common people. We really don't compute at all in their scheme of things except to serve them. It's not going to change until we take away their power. We better do it before our vote becomes what it is in other totalitarian countries, because we are certainly headed that way.


question4u 1 year, 2 months ago

"defies logic"

Logic has never been part of Brownback's road map from the perspective of benefit to the state and its future; the logic is all geared toward the short-term profits of a select group of individuals.

Brownback's ideas are perfectly logical if his primary concern is to remove restrictions on corporations, eliminate taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Kansans, and placate the masses who don't bother to question his rhetoric or look too closely at the consequences of his policies.

Cutting one educational program to fund another is the kind of three-card monte that Flim-Flam Sam has gotten away with every time. How else is it possible to get the people of Kansas to support elimination of income taxes for the wealthiest in exchange for cutting tax credits for the poor, a permanent increase in sales tax, and higher property taxes for everyone? Flim-Flam Sam just keeps shifting those cards.


Paul R Getto 1 year, 2 months ago

No one ever accused the gov of being data-based...gets in the way of ideology.


Jackie Jackasserson 1 year, 2 months ago

He has people reporting to him about non-control group based, non-experimental, anecdotal community projects using data with a lot of spin. These are people that jump for him. That buys them logic in his eyes regardless of any hard data or published research. Spitting nails over this won't help. Vote him out of office.


Mike1949 1 year, 2 months ago

Cut the early detection for reading problems to deal with it later, this brownback is literally brain dead! Who ever voted him into office I would question their sanity!


Bushloather1 1 year, 2 months ago

Creative accounting is just what I expect from the Family man. Glory be! Look how the fourth grade reading levels have improved! Yeah this Gov. Blows alot.


chootspa 1 year, 2 months ago

Why would a kid need speech therapy or screening for developmental disabilities when we can just hold them back in third grade?


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