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KAC February Newsletter


Ready for a change in seasons?

This afternoon in Topeka, snow flurries are swirling down Kansas Avenue. A chilly wind whips through the streets. Spring seems ages away.

And yet we know that, inevitably, whether it takes days or weeks, spring will come. Flowers will blossom, lawns will need mowing, and coats will go into storage.

In much the same way, we've had a lengthy and somewhat chilly start to the legislative session. We've seen great interest in early childhood investments, but here at KAC we've been spending time and resources opposing failed policies from the past.

This spring, however, we expect to see a different landscape. We will be screening an exceptional documentary about early childhood education. We will also be hitting the road again to talk about the difference these investments can make. And we will keep working with legislators from both parties and the governor to make a difference for Kansas kids and families.

I can't wait to see what happens.

Ad astra -
Annie McKay
A bad time for bad tax policy in Kansas

Risky tax legislation clears House committee

On Monday, the House Taxation Committee passed Senate Bill 22. The bill, a massive corporate tax giveaway, now includes a small food sales tax reduction and a mechanism to collect online sales taxes. The changes don't improve the bill, instead making it even more costly and serving as a distraction from the real issue at hand.

After years of self-inflicted wounds from misguided fiscal  policy, Kansas should not be trying to repeat the mistakes of former Gov. Sam Brownback.

In passing Senate Bill 30 in 2017, a bipartisan majority understood that starving the state of revenue with upside-down tax policy was a losing strategy. After the bill passed, we saw revenues rebound, and the state start down a road to recovery. That challenges remain should be obvious by the tasks faced by the new governor and her administration: funding education, fixing state agencies, and repairing infrastructure.

That's why SB 22, which is estimated to cost a half-billion dollars over three years, is so misguided. With federal base-broadening measures meaning increased revenue, this is an ideal opportunity to make much-needed fixes.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BILL.

TAKE ACTION AND TELL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TO VOTE 'NO.'
Members of the KSAEYC team meet with representatives from the Kansas delegation. Top left: Staff from Rep. Watkins' office. Top right: Staff from Rep. Estes' office. Middle left: Staff from Sen. Roberts' office. Middle Right: Staff from Sen. Moran's office. Bottom Left: Rep. Marshall. Bottom Right: Staff from Rep. Davids' office. Members of the KSAEYC team are Kasey Kile, Tristen Cope, Amy Gottschamer, and John Wilson.
Mr. Wilson goes to Washington

Board members for the Kansas Association for the Education of Young Children (KSAEYC), including KAC's Vice President of Advocacy John Wilson, traveled to Washington, D.C., for the annual NAEYC Public Policy Forum this week. The group joined more than 350 early childhood educators and advocates from across the country to learn about the federal and state landscape for child care policy.

The highlight of the event were visits to Capitol Hill. The Kansas team made it to all six offices of our federal delegation! A special thanks to Rep. Roger Marshall for taking time to visit with us personally. We asked our delegation to sustain and grow investments in child care by increasing the funding for the   Child Care & Development Block Grant (CCDBG)  by $5 billion, and to lift the caps on non-defense domestic discretionary funding so that more children can access high-quality care. We also asked for them to support the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, which supports current and future early childhood educators by investing in their professional development and expertise.
 
If you're an early childhood educator, parent, or advocate for early investments,   consider joining KSAEYC. They work to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research.
Coming soon: No Small Matter

The importance of early education for Kansas kids can't be overstated. All of Kansas depends on their success. If you're in the Topeka area, learn more at our special film screening and dinner March 18.  Tickets are available here

If you're not in Topeka, don't worry! We plan on bringing the show to other locations across the state soon. Watch the trailer now!

No Small Matter | TRAILER for the game-changing documentary on early learning

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