SALT LAKE CITY — Ben McAdams rolled out a plan Wednesday to support education in his bid for the Salt Lake County mayor's seat.

McAdams, a Democrat, has voiced his support for education in recent debates, despite challenges by GOP hopeful Mark Crockett that education is not a county issue.

McAdams asserted in a news release that the county is an "integral" part of education.

"Salt Lake County government can improve youth academic success by advocating for and supporting efforts at the state and district level and partnering at the local level," McAdams said.

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The plan focuses on four steps: supporting early childhood education; matching student needs with available programs; doubling after-school programs; and transitioning high school graduates to appropriate programs or jobs.

The McAdams campaign had Kelly Colopy, an after-school program specialist, on hand for Wednesday's unveiling of the program.

Colopy offered support for the proposal, saying partnerships are essential to after-school programs.

"Numerous studies have shown the link between participation in high-quality after-school programs and improved test scores, reduction in behavioral problems and increased graduation rates and post-secondary success," she said.

McKenzie Romero Twitter: @McKenzieRomero