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Education

A group of students sit around a table at a learning conference.

Opening access to learning and career opportunities

The Kauffman Foundation focuses on ensuring the Kansas City region’s education and learning opportunities are equitable, real-world relevant, and lead to economically-viable careers.

Learners of all ages deserve access to opportunities that will prepare them for starting and growing their careers. Each career path is unique and requires innovative, relevant training and education to connect students to marketable credentials, college degrees, and the life and work they seek.

To support viable and equitable pathways in the Kansas City metro region, the Kauffman Foundation focuses on four primary grant areas and activities that support the overall Education strategy: Foundational Learning, Ready for High School, Career & Employment Readiness, and Strategic Fortification.

Education Focus Areas

Pre-K classroom

Foundational Learning

Foundational Learning gives students the academic and cognitive skills to succeed in their next phases of learning. Our investments support:

  • Accessible, affordable, and quality early childhood education.
  • Equitable access to knowledge, resources, and experiences for students in Kansas City-area public, charter, and private schools.

Foundational Learning investments include: SchoolSmartKC and Ewing Marion Kauffman School.


A group of students walk up the stairs at the Ewing Marion Kauffman School.

High School Readiness

Students are academically and mentally prepared to thrive in high school. This focus area is emerging. Grants and initiatives will be updated as announced. Funding will support:

  • Personal aptitude and interest programs and robust early experiences to foster and catalyze equitable opportunities.
  • Equity plans in area schools to promote positive school climate and increased sense of inclusion for students.

A mentor helps a student during an internship project inside a lab.

Career & Employment Readiness

Career & Employment Readiness requires creative and agile approaches to education. Through our investments, students and adults are equipped with experiences, information, credentials, and confidence to help them secure sustainable employment. Funding supports:

  • Internships, relevant learning, and on-site work experiences for Kansas City-area high school students.
  • Academic scholarships, coaching, mentoring.
  • Certifications and credentialing.

Career & Employment Readiness investments include: KC Scholars, Kauffman Scholars, Inc., and Real World Learning.


Three educators of color attending the Amplify conference laugh together.

Strategy Fortification

To enhance our Education strategies, the Kauffman Foundation is active in two areas:

  • Policy research and assessment that informs and connects educators with policymakers to ensure government, institutional, and organizational regulations and priorities to support financial stability, upward mobility, and economic prosperity.
  • Community engagement that elevates collaboration and learning to ensure investments are relevant, racially equitable, and impactful.

Strategy Fortification investments include: Amplify, Success-Ready Students Network, and Kauffman Education Fellowship.