Co-chairs of the committee Sherdeill Breathett (left) and Department for Children and Families Secretary Phyllis Gilmore. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)A Kansas task force looking for ways to reduce child poverty met for the first time today (MON) and heard an overview of the problem. In 2010, around 18 percent of children in Kansas lived in poverty; that's a 50 percent increase over the last 40 years. But the state has recently improved in some areas, with significant decreases in high school dropout rates and teen pregnancy rates. Kansas first lady Mary Brownback told the task force that child poverty can lead to hardships later in life. She urged the panel to look for outside-the-box ideas.
Governor Sam Brownback formed the task force to recommend ways to tackle the issue of child poverty in Kansas. It includes state officials, religious leaders and members of advocacy groups.