`All in for Kansas Kids Strategic Plan,’ other pre-school programs approved by State Board of Education

A plan aimed at improving early childhood services in Kansas won approval Tuesday from the State Board of Education.

Earlier this month, officials announced Kansas had received a nearly $9 million federal grant to implement the “All in for Kansas Kids Strategic Plan.” The grant could potentially grow to $27 million over three years.

The plan seeks to set up a statewide structure to help communities provide families the services they need for quality early childhood care and education. The plan is also aimed at helping develop early childcare  professionals and working with the public and private sectors to create opportunities for Kansas children and families.

The State Board approved the proposal on an 8-2 vote with members Michelle Dombrosky, R-Olathe, and Steve Roberts, R-Overland Park, voting against it. Neither stated a reason during the meeting for their vote.

The board also approved three measures that provide funding aimed at helping preschool children and parents. Those included preschool at-risk programs, funding preschool pilot grants and funding Parents as Teachers grants.

Dombrosky also voted against those measures, saying she was concerned about the state’s revenue shortfall and she didn’t want to expend funds before being able to assure parents that school would start in the fall.

Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson said the programs are funded by the Legislature and the dollars can only be used for those specific programs.

Eight members of the board voted for the programs and Steve Roberts, R-Overland Park, abstained without comment.

Share this post