Programs For At Risk Kids Still Holding Out Hope

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Programs to prevent Sedgwick County at risk kids from ending up in jail are cautiously optimistic.

County Commissioners asked for more time in deciding whether to cut funding to several programs.

State lawmakers cut crime prevention grants by $620,000 this year to Sedgwick County. That means the county had to make cuts at the local level.

Programs leaders of Sedgwick County Big Brothers Big Sisters and Community In Schools pleaded with commissioners this morning to continue funding for them. They say without the money they will have to cut back on helping at risk kids and that will send more youth into jails.

"We continue to take budget cuts from the state and it continues to roll down hill," said Commissioner Tim Norton. "We got some tough decisions."

"This does not prevent us from focusing on prevention programs," said County Manager Bill Buchanan.

"It's pretty bad that the state can't follow it's own rules especially when it comes to fund sharing," said Jim Skelton. "I find it disgusting."

President of Big Brothers Big Sisters Dan Soliday says he is cautiously optomistic about today's deferrment. He hopes someone can come up with funding somewhere else.

The commission will be discussing the issue during Tuesday's staff meeting and then voting on the proposed cuts Wednesday.

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