TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Kansas children's advocate Annie McKay used her platform to speak about the repercussions the state budget crisis is having on early childhood and education.
“One out of every two dollars that is supposed to go to early education is being siphoned off to plug the state’s budget hole," said McKay.
McKay was named President of Kansas Action for Children earlier this year. According to the KAC website, their child advocates seek improvements in public policy and public systems that address the needs and rights of children in Kansas.
"When we look at the indicators that are coming out in terms of the number of Kansas kids accessing free and reduced lunch, or the number of children living in poverty, or our fourth grade reading scores, it's pretty evident that us pulling back on these early care and education programs is showing up in some troubling trends,” said McKay.
She was previously Executive Director of the Kansas Center for Economic Growth. She put a business perspective on things at her YWCA Topeka lecture Wednesday afternoon.
“For every dollar that we invest in early childcare and education, we avoid seven dollars in cost later in things like corrections, or special education, or teen pregnancy, or a whole host of other things. It makes good business sense. Policymakers need to hear from Kansans all over the state, of all stripes, why this is important,” said McKay.