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Kansas foster care is failing high-needs kids

Young people with intellectual disabilities often get placed in foster care because their challenges are more than their families can handle. Kansas lawmakers and foster agencies hope they can help keep some of those kids in their original homes. Plus: Teachers at Kansas City Public Schools will soon be paid the highest starting salaries in the region.

Dozens of Kansas kids enter foster care each year not because of abuse or neglect, but because their developmental disabilities and conditions like autism are more than their family can handle. Blaise Mesa of the Kansas News Service reports the issue has persisted for years.

Missouri pays its teachers some of the lowest salaries in the country, making it hard for school districts across the state to attract and retain teachers. Last month, Kansas City Public Schools became the latest in the area to raise salaries when it approved the highest starting pay scale in the metro. KCUR editor Madeline Fox sat down with education reporter Jodi Fortino to learn about new raises in teacher pay across Missouri.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Laura Ziegler. It is produced by Paris Norvell, Byron Love, and KCUR Studios, and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.

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I partner with communities to uncover the ignored or misrepresented stories by listening and letting communities help identify and shape a narrative. My work brings new voices, sounds, and an authentic sense of place to our coverage of the Kansas City region. My goal is to tell stories on the radio, online, on social media and through face to face conversations that enhance civic dialogue and provide solutions.
Paris Norvell is a freelance podcast producer for KCUR Studios,
As an on-demand producer, I am focused on using my skills and experiences across multiple digital applications, platforms and media fields to create community focused audio, video and on-demand products for KCUR Studios. The media that I produce aims to inform, entertain and connect with the Kansas City metro area as we continue to learn from each other. Email me at byronlove@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
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