Rafael Garcia is a journalist for The Wichita Beacon, a nonprofit digital news organization in Wichita, Kansas. He covers local and state education issues, and hopes to focus on the future of education as the state rebounds from the pandemic. Prior to working at The Beacon, Garcia reported on K-12 and higher education for The Topeka Capital-Journal and The Manhattan Mercury in Kansas. His stories on equity-and-access issues, declining enrollment and educator shortages have been published across Gannett Kansas’ network of papers. A Kansas native, Garcia’s love of donuts helped him win a first place award from the Kansas Press Association for a feature he wrote about an estate sale at the site of a donut shop that closed long ago, but is filled with memories. A first-generation college graduate, Garcia was three-time editor-in-chief of The Kansas State Collegian at Kansas State University.
Beat: Education reporter in Wichita
This data and records-driven reporter provides sharp, in depth coverage of local and state education issues, including its impact on the area's skilled workforce and issues related to funding, equity and access. Wichita's USD 259 is the largest K-12 school district in the state. There are dozens of private and parochial schools, and three universities in the city.