Kansas group: Budget shift will cut childhood program funds

(KSNT Photo File Photo)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An advocacy group says a budget adjustment that took $9 million from Kansas’ Children’s Initiatives Fund will mean a cut in money promised to 20 children’s programs.

The Kansas City Star reports a review by Kansas Action for Children says the budget adjustment will cost early childhood grant programs about 6.5 percent in funding for fiscal year 2016 and about 3 percent in fiscal year 2017.

The $9 million was moved from the Children’s Initiatives Fund to the general fund.

Eileen Hawley, spokeswoman for Gov. Sam Brownback, said the budget adjustment would not alter grant funding. According to Hawley, this is a one-time adjustment that should not result in a reduction in grant funding or the services delivered through them.

Hawley said that the Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund, which administers early childhood block grants has the required funding to meet its current grant obligations. According to the spokeswoman, the budget adjustment aligns grant funds with the correct accounting period and helps the state remain compliant with budget laws.

According to the group, Brownback’s administration had asked earlier that grant recipients shift their grant cycles from calendar years to fiscal years. The group says the change made it appear as if there were unencumbered funds, but the money was already allocated.

Shannon Cotsoradis, president and CEO of Kansas Action for Children, said in a statement that “These programs produce some of the most impressive early childhood outcomes in Kansas, and they are being sacrificed for a failing tax plan that has spiraled out of control.”

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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