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Kansas childhood poverty group releases report

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A panel appointed by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is recommending several strategies for reducing childhood poverty, including strengthening marriages, improving educational opportunities and reforming welfare-to-work programs.

The Governor's Task Force on Reducing Childhood Poverty released its report Friday, calling its recommendations a starting point for policymakers.

The report urges more targeted use of public funds to reduce high school dropout rates, help low-income residents get off government assistance and provide counseling to couples before marriage.

Task force members noted the recommendations follow traditional strategies for reducing childhood poverty. They said federal and state government efforts have historically been unsuccessful.

The Republican governor created the task force in November 2012. It was chaired by Phyllis Gilmore, secretary of the state Department for Children and Families.