TOPEKA -- Gov. Sam Brownback announced Tuesday the dates for three town hall-style meetings that will focus on reducing childhood poverty in Kansas. The meetings, entitled “Rising to the Challenge: Reducing Childhood Poverty and Improving Childhood Outcomes in Kansas,” will take place in Kansas City, Kansas, Wichita and Garden City.
“Studies show children who grow up in poverty are less likely to succeed in school and later on in life,” Governor Brownback said. “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.”
Reducing the number of Kansas children living in poverty is a cornerstone of Governor Brownback’s first term as governor. In 2010, nearly a quarter of Kansas children (23.7 percent) were living in poverty. That is a five percent increase compared to 2009 child poverty levels and is two percent higher than the national average.
Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services Secretary Rob Siedlecki will oversee the childhood poverty town hall meetings as a part of the Governor’s Roadmap for Kansas.
“What has been done in the past clearly didn’t work. We are looking for new ideas and new approaches, and believe Kansans can provide us with ideas that will help us rise to meet this challenge,” Secretary Siedlecki said. “The meetings will be a great opportunity for us to gather proposals and strategies from Kansans about reducing childhood poverty in our state.”
Secretary Siedlecki said. “Every Kansan has a stake in the outcome of this initiative. I am hoping that everyone concerned about childhood poverty will attend these meetings and participate in these discussions, regardless of their vocation or background.”
The format will be similar to the administration’s Medicaid Reform meetings held earlier this year. If you plan on attending a meeting as a provider, advocate, private citizen, or media, please register on the SRS website, at www.srs.ks.gov.