Brownback Talks Kindergarten

ROELAND PARK, Kan. (AP) Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback took a field trip to a suburban school district as he kicked off a campaign to build support for his plan to increase state funding of all-day kindergarten.

The Republican governor dined Thursday with students at Roesland Elementary School in the Shawnee Mission school district before chatting with teachers, students and parents.

Currently, district parents pay $300 per month for the all-day program. The half-day program is free.

Brownback wants to increase state funding for all-day kindergarten starting in the next budget year, providing an extra $16 million each year over five years for the state’s 286 school districts. The governor says Kansas can afford to spend the money and should to improve early learning.

Critics are wary that Kansas can sustain the investment financially.