Learning together for educational success.

The overall goal of the Education strategy is that students of all ages in Kansas City are prepared for learning, work, and life after graduation, enabling them to be economically independent, contributing members of their communities.

How we measure our work: Academic performance gaps between Kansas City and the state, including kindergarten readiness, K-12 proficiency, and postsecondary completion rates will be closed.

We focus on five main areas in service of our strategy: postsecondary, K-12, early childhood education, teachers and leaders, and community engagement.

Real World Learning, drone

A vision for the future of student success is urgent

The time to provide real-world learning opportunities – for all students – is now.

Ewing Marion Kauffman School welcomes its first class of graduates, all of whom have been admitted to college

A moment to celebrate

All members of the first graduating class of the Kauffman School have been admitted to college.

Minority is now majority, except when it comes to educators

The watershed decision of Brown v. Board integrated America’s schools, but not the teacher workforce.

Education Focus Areas


Kansas City's population has the postsecondary credentials necessary to meet regional workforce needs through opportunities like:

  • SkilledKC
  • Kauffman Scholars, Inc.
  • KC Scholars
Learn more


We work to ensure that all students are prepared and graduate high school ready for college and/or career through:

  • Real World Learning
  • Individual Schools Grants
  • Great Schools Visits
  • Kauffman School
  • SchoolSmartKC

We prioritize closing achievement and equity gaps, while also exploring the integration of Real World Learning approaches into the K-12 grant portfolio.

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Early Childhood Education

More students are entering kindergarten ready to learn through investments that support quality improvements in early learning programs in the Kansas City region.

Through the Early Education Grant Fund, we support increased access to and quality of early childhood programs in the Kansas City region and are impacting ~12,000 children ages birth to five in the region, at least 40% of whom are from low-income families and are children of color.

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Teachers and Leaders

The Kauffman Foundation supports a wide range of programs that connect educators to professional development opportunities, giving them a chance to innovate and improve teaching techniques, such as:

  • Kansas City Teacher Residency
  • Teach for America
  • City Year
  • TEACH Kansas City

We recognize and celebrate educators for the lives they change every day. We support new teachers, especially underrepresented educators, to be trained and enter into the profession better prepared.

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Community Engagement

Increased community engagement and support sustains the impact of our investments over time. The effectiveness and resiliency of pre-K through grade 12 and postsecondary sectors are increased through scalable innovations, like:

  • Parent Power Lab
  • Great Schools Visits
  • Change the Odds KC

We aim to engage at least 3,000 local community members in Foundation-supported initiatives designed to build alignment and interest, and will provide feedback in strategically critical areas.

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Currents // Education

Read stories about our work in education.

Uncommon voices in 2019

Get inspiration and insight from uncommon voices in 2019 that aim to break down barriers to success and offer hope for the decade ahead.

Zora Mulligan, commencement speech at Missouri State University

Q&A: State-level collaboration to meet workforce needs

Missouri’s Commissioner of Higher Education discusses the need to work together to innovate within the system to better prepare students and workers for the demands of a rapidly changing workforce.

Real-world skills, VR

Adjusting methodology to develop real-world skills

How adjusting learning experiences can equip children with the skills, knowledge, and disposition they need to become the next generation of citizens and community leaders.


Navigating the creative tension of education innovation

The creative disruption needed to transform the process by which our children are prepared for life after education is a challenge, but one stakeholders are embracing.

Who is Generation A?