Published 3/9/2013 in Commentary : EditorialLawmakers wrongly target college savings program.
A radical tax-cut plan has put a number of good Kansas programs in jeopardy.
One, a program in place to help low-income families save for their children's education, is among those targeted by state lawmakers wrangling with a budget shortfall.
A bill introduced in the Kansas House would eliminate the KIDS Higher Education Savings Match Program. The program provides an incentive for parents to save for tuition expenses for their children planning to attend college or vocational schools.
It's a modest investment for the state, which has issued grants totalling about $500,000 this year.
Just $600 per year may be matched to qualifying families, who must be at 200 percent or below the federal poverty level — roughly $47,100 for a family of four.
Critics looking to shelve the program cite a fear of fraud, even though there's no evidence of as much happening. To prevent fraud, recipients must present a tuition receipt to the state treasurer's office.
In truth, consider the attempt to erase the savings program as little more than another conservative Republican attack on education and disadvantaged Kansans. Indeed, it's easy to see how losing such an opportunity would be even more damaging in Garden City and other southwest Kansas communities with higher percentages of poor families.
Supporters of the program know that along with making college more attainable, the program is a sensible investment in the state's future workforce. And, it can help break the cycle of poverty — something Gov. Sam Brownback supposedly supports.
Yet as the governor and his allies embark on their mission to eliminate the state's income tax, they're content to pay for the corporate-friendly benefit by exacting a costly toll in deep cuts to state-funded services and programs ranging from public schools to assistance for the poor.
With economic challenges ahead in Kansas, it's going to be more difficult for lower-income families to save for their children's education.
Abolishing a proven way to help them do as much makes no sense. Sadly, though, it's what we've come to expect from conservative Republicans who find it easy to turn their backs on Kansans in need.
Found 4 comment(s)!
Lawmakers wrongly target college savings program.
What our Gov. is trying to do is get it so that we only have private education in the state of Kansas. Along with no taxes in the meantime we will have uneducated children so the crime rate will multiply. They will have no other way to support themselves.
Posted by: Phyllis on 3/9/2013
This is nothing more than an attempt to keep the poor from ever improving the lives of their children through education. If we think about it then it is easy to recognize this as nothing more than an attempt to maintain social stratification between those who ‘have’ and those who ‘have not.’ An attack on those with modest means to save for their children’ future educational pursuits is the lowest form of engaging in class warfare imaginable.
I would comment that the Gov. should be ashamed of himself but we already know that he has no shame.
Posted by: rick on 3/9/2013
kansans deserve this outcome. kansas voters and the word think is oxymoronic believing ignorantly the GOP are a values or consevative political organization. kansans must realize corporate now control one entire party and every GOP vote is another cut in their own futures. GOP attempts to buy the vote at phasing out income tax but at what cost? Kansans pro GOP are either stupid or well to do. There are not enough cuts that exist to pay for the complete elimination of the income tax. It is an idea based upon greed. The reason the Koch Brothers fund this ALEC group is it is their ideas. The Kochs are stealing these state funds thru this Brownback tax code and Kansans are so dumb they dont recognize thieves stealing their families futures. Kansans deserve nothing and that is just what the GOP is giving back...less than nothing because today Kansas have two billion dollrs more in debt. Please salute yourselves dumb asses.
Posted by: grant on 3/9/2013
Fear of Fraud from low income people?
Hearing that Kansas legislators fear fraud from people of low income shocks me. How many years of the Ronald Reagan fake welfare queen stories must we endure? Families of low income with the ability to care & try to keep their children in school? We should be thanking our lucky stars we still have families in Kansas that care about educating their children. You know, the people who maybe believe the Kansas state motto has a ring of truth to it? Fraud is what mortgage banks and lobbyists commit. Getting a pittance for someone's associate degree - that is what regular people do.
Posted by: Pamster on 3/9/2013