Stephan Bisaha

News Reporter

Stephan Bisaha is a former NPR Kroc Fellow. Along with producing Weekend Edition, Stephan has reported on national stories for Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as other NPR programs. He provided data analysis for an investigation into the Department of Veteran Affairs and reported on topics ranging from Emojis to mattresses.

Stephan has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and concentrated in data journalism. He currently covers education for KMUW and the Kansas News Service. 

Ways to Connect

Scott Canon / Kansas News Service

Kansas is one of the worst states in the country when it comes to handling its elections, according to a new report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Kansas was ranked 48th out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on how it performed in the 2016 elections.

The main factor that pushed Kansas so low was the high number of provisional ballots — about 3 percent in 2016 compared to the national average of about 1 percent.

His last real prospects of winning the Republican nomination for the office he holds slipping away one county canvass after the next, Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer conceded the primary race to Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Tuesday night.

Ascha Lee / KMUW

When the head of the Kansas Republican Party had agreed to speak to the Wichita Pachyderm Club Friday about looking ahead to the general election, he wasn't expecting the party to still be lacking a candidate for Governor.

"And it doesn't look like we're going to have one anytime soon," said Jim Joice, the executive director for the Kansas Republican Party.

"But that's alright," Joice said. "That's not going to slow us down."

Updated 10:35 p.m. Aug., 9, 2018: In a cable news interview Thursday night, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said he will recuse himself from the vote-counting process in the closely contested Republican gubernatorial primary. 

"There really is no point to it, but I've said if my opponent wishes me to, I'd be happy to. It's purely symbolic. I don't think he understands the process," Kobach told CNN's Chris Cuomo. 

He went on to say he would make a "formal response" to Gov. Jeff Colyer's recusal request Friday. 

SJCF Architecture

Wesley Healthcare is opening a new urgent care center on the campus of Wichita State University in 2020.

Wichita State, the Greater Wichita YMCA and Wesley Healthcare announced their partnership on Thursday. Wesley Healthcare is investing $3 million in the new YMCA building being built on Wichita State's campus. The new building will house the Wesley Healthcare Urgent Care Center.

LaRissa Lawrie / KMUW

Renee Erickson will represent the 87th Kansas House District in Sedgwick County after defeating moderate candidate Jeff Kennedy in the Republican primary election.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

Wichita Public Schools will soon start another school year with a shortage of substitute teachers.

While the school district has fewer vacant teaching jobs this year, long-term substitutes will fill some of the remaining positions. That takes more substitutes out of the already small pool used to cover absent teachers.

When a substitute isn’t available to cover a class, those students are spread among other classrooms for the day, overloading the class sizes for some teachers.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

Wichita Public Schools welcomed hundreds of new teachers to the district at a new staff orientation Thursday morning.

The new teachers were greeted at Wichita Northwest High School with cheerleaders, a photo booth and a marching band.

“I am very excited to be starting the school year,” said Mike Flaigle, who will teach sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade math at Horace Mann Dual Language Magnet.

The number of vacant teaching positions in the district has been cut in half, from more than 100 last year to 54 this year.

Truth, it’s said, is the first casualty of war. That helps explain why combat metaphors so often get applied to political campaigns.

The battlefield of the Kansas governor’s race bears out the maxim. Even when candidates get their facts right — a surprisingly difficult task for the field — their words tend to twist a broader truth.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

Wichita’s school board heard the first draft of the district’s $686 million budget Monday night.

The new budget represents an increase of $43 million over last year's budget. Of the new money, $25 million is locked in for funds like KPERS while the remaining $18 million exists in the more flexible general, supplemental and weighted funds.

The main driver of the larger budget is increased state aid. Higher property values also helped. The mill levy rate is also being lowered with the new budget.

The increased funding is a break from years of shrinking budgets.

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