A free email newsletter breaking down the issues that affect Wichitans the most.

Delivered every Tuesday and Thursday morning


The F word families dread: FAFSA season is here

It’s financial aid season across the U.S., and high school seniors and college students are already figuring out how they’ll pay for their education next year. A big part of that calculation will be the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a yearly financial aid application process for students who can’t pay for their post-high…


Few Wichita students walk to school. Here’s why they should.

It’s not every day that fifth graders Terrance Brobst and Jackson Fasig get to walk to school together, but the days they do are some of their favorites. It’s one of the things they missed most when they were stuck at home during the pandemic’s remote learning stages. “We get to walk, talk with our…

Lunch. Soccer. Class. COVID. Wichita students on starting new year of pandemic learning

What happens when the unprecedented becomes precedented? As Kansas schools wrap up the first month of a second year of pandemic learning, they’re still struggling with many of the same challenges as last year, even as they’re left with fewer tools to address them. But for Wichita area high school students, returning for another COVID-19 school year means the virus has become a regular part…

How does Wichita Public Schools spend an average $15,000 per student?

Jennifer Owen helps nonverbal students find their voices. The speech pathologist for Wichita Public Schools specializes in augmentative and alternative communications, helping students with trouble speaking, reading or communicating their thoughts to do just that. She does her work with tools, often expensive ones, like tablets that help students with word and image icons. She’s…

First-year teachers are Kansas’ future — if schools can keep them

For all the challenges she faced in getting to her first day as a teacher, Kora Snavely could feel any nerves or anxiety melt away when her 20 students filtered into her classroom for the first day of second grade at Meadowlark Elementary in Andover. Snavely, who graduated college in May, wanted to lead her…

Where the money comes from to teach Kansas students

How do you budget for a classroom when you don’t know how many students will even be in it? That’s a challenge Kansas school districts are facing as they attempt to estimate how many students — many of whom skipped the 2020-21 school year — will return to their school buildings this fall. Wichita Public…

Join our Founding Members

The Wichita Beacon listens to diverse perspectives and shines a light on systemic issues and grass-roots solutions through original fact-based reporting.

If you can, we hope you’ll help keep our journalism free for all readers by becoming a monthly member.


Your contribution is appreciated.