Jun 17, 2024

Kansas education data still a concern

Posted Jun 17, 2024 9:15 AM
Adrienne Olejnik-Kansas Action for Children
Adrienne Olejnik-Kansas Action for Children

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — In the latest national edition of the Annie E. Casey Foundation 2024 KIDS COUNT National Data Book, Kansas still ranks in the bottom half of the country for education at 28th. Adrienne Olejnik with Kansas Action for Children is clear. Education doesn't just happen K-12, and it doesn't just happen in the school building.

"I think the most important takeaway from this report is the interplay how much outside of school time affects children's educational outcomes," Olejnik said. "Also in the report, we're seeing increased rates of chronic absenteeism and adverse childhood experiences that are affecting children's ability to learn."

Getting a good start for kids even before they are thinking about school is an area the state has been working on.

"This data really points to the need for increased investment in childcare and early learning systems," Olejnik said. "We've been talking to the legislature about that for several years and they've really started to listen. Childcare was more of part of the conversation this year than we've seen in past years."

It is important to help those kids that were in school during the not normal years of the pandemic to get back to speed, as well.

 "I think the takeaway is that we know that targeted investments that teachers and other educational professionals are making for these students to mitigate the impact of what children experienced during the pandemic is starting to make a difference," Olejnik said. 

Find out more about the work of Kansas Action for children at kac.org.

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