Last year Gov. Brownback put together a task force to take a long look at a serious problem facing our state – childhood poverty. He brought together the best and the brightest to study, discuss and find a solution facing so many of Kansas’s most vulnerable population.
Finally on September 6th, the Governor’s task force on reducing childhood poverty rolled out their findings.
I put down the latest copy of People Magazine and read the 27 page report.
My favorite part of the report was this:
The task force acknowledges that the government’s ability to address poverty has historically been unsuccessful. Though government at the state and federal level continues to pour money into anti-poverty programs, poverty rates continue to grow, and out-of-wedlock childbirth has exploded. Government must be mindful of programs and policies that result in keeping individuals in poverty by disincentivizing full-time employment and marriage or incentivizing out-of-wedlock childbirths.
After 3 task meetings – the group has found a solution! It is a 3 pillar approach that includes (drum roll please)
I will talk about the 1st and 3rd pillar.
I think we can all agree (liberals and conservatives) that education is the key out of poverty. Without the foundation of education, one is almost GUARANTEED to repeat the cycle of poverty. I applaud the task force and Governor Brownback for identifying this trend and making a commitment to do everything to stop this vicious cycle by showing a true commitment in making sure our Kansas children have the BEST possible education to make them competitive in the global job market.
Hold on a sec…what’s that?
Study: Kansas cuts K-12 education funding by fourth-most in nation
From the report:
Michael Leachman, director of state fiscal research at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and co-author of the report, said state government reductions for schools weakened the nation’s ability to foster a well-educated, skilled work force.
“At a time when the nation is trying to produce workers with the skills to master new technologies and adapt to the complexities of a global economy, states should be investing more — not less — to ensure our kids get a strong education,” he said.
Hum…well this is awkward. How about if we move on to third pillar?
Marriage! Let’s all just get married and everything will be a-ok! Get yourself to the chapel and no more poverty!
I even have the PR slogan “Don’t bed before you wed!” It’s twitter length appropriate, it rhymes and I think it will probably sway young people who are ready to jump in the sack to wait a moment and head to their local church to get married for what I’m sure will be 60 years of wedding bliss.
The task force concluded that two parent households reduce poverty. In order to address that they are recommending an eight-hour, pre-marital course and then they will eliminate the marriage license cost. Consider that your wedding present – Mazel Tov from the State of Kansas!
Now If my math is correct – it’s $50 for a marriage license in KS divided by 8 hours for the course. That means if your time is worth $6.25 per hour then you have a great way to spend some time!
I have no doubt this is going to go over with flying colors! And by the way – you can use my slogan for FREE State of Kansas! You’re welcome.