SOURCE: Kauffman Foundation

Kauffman Foundation

June 15, 2010 13:57 ET

Kauffman Foundation Announces Plans to Open Charter School in 2011

Ewing Marion Kauffman School Is the Next Step in the Kauffman Foundation's Ongoing Educational Support in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, MO--(Marketwire - June 15, 2010) -  The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation today announced that in 2011 it will open the Ewing Marion Kauffman School (Kauffman School), representing a substantial new commitment to help Kansas City students succeed academically. This announcement follows the vote today by the Missouri State Board of Education to authorize the charter for the Kauffman School. This new public charter school will offer a rigorous college preparatory education to students in grades five through twelve, intended to provide them with the academic and life skills needed to succeed in college and life beyond the classroom. The University of Missouri-Columbia will act as the school's sponsoring institution.

The Kauffman School will open in the fall of 2011 with an initial class of 75 5th-grade students, adding one grade level each year through 12th grade. Enrollment will begin early in 2011. As a public charter school, the Kauffman School will be tuition-free and serve students residing within the Kansas City, Missouri School District boundaries in accordance with state statute. If enrollment demand exceeds the number of available seats, students will be selected by a lottery process. Students living in five zip codes within the district -- 64123, 64124, 64127, 64128, and 64130 -- will have first opportunity in the lottery.

"Beginning with Project Choice nearly a quarter century ago, Ewing Kauffman displayed a tremendous commitment to the education of Kansas City's youth," said Kauffman Foundation president and CEO Carl Schramm. "The Kauffman School will continue the Foundation's legacy to provide the very best educational opportunities for students in Kansas City's urban core."

With the Kauffman School charter application approved by the University of Missouri-Columbia and the authorization by the Missouri State Board of Education, the process of finding a suitable location and hiring school staff can begin in earnest. The school's location is not yet determined. The Kauffman School may use temporary facilities during its initial two to three years of operation. Arrangements regarding school staff are still in progress. Details regarding location and school personnel will be provided in the coming months.

For more than 20 years, the Kauffman Foundation has developed and funded a number of academic programs designed to enrich the education of local young people. Ewing Kauffman first began this work in 1988 when he started Project Choice, a dropout prevention program focused on students in Kansas City's urban core. Project Choice served 1,400 students from 1988 to 2001 in a program that enabled students to develop to their potential. From what was learned by Project Choice, the Foundation established Kauffman Scholars, Inc., (KSI) in 2003. This program currently serves 1,500 urban students from seventh grade through college in an after-school college preparatory and access program designed to enhance academics and life skills. In 2010, 95 percent of the first class of Kauffman Scholars graduating from high school went on to college.

Through KSI, students have improved their grades, test scores and become better prepared for the rigors of college and a successful life beyond college. This experience has helped inform expectations and development of the charter school proposal.

When the new school is opened, KSI and the Kauffman School will remain separate from one another.

"The Kauffman School will offer students the rigorous academic preparation and the life skills development they need to compete and succeed in a rapidly changing world," said Munro Richardson, Kauffman Foundation vice president of Education. "Our goal is to help students develop their unique talents and to stretch the limits of their academic ability. That will take a focused effort by not only the students and teachers, but families and those who surround the students in their community."

Beyond the Kauffman School and KSI, the Foundation continues to support a number of other educational initiatives in the Kansas City area. These include Teach for America and the CDF Freedom Schools, which focus on improving educational outcomes for urban students. Students across the region also benefit from programs such as FIRST Robotics and Project Lead the Way, which are designed to improve high school students' math and science comprehension and help them prepare for future careers.

Go to www.kauffmanschool.org for more information on the Kauffman School.

About the Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open young people's eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies. The Foundation also supports a number of initiatives in Kansas City that focus on improving the educational achievement of urban students, including the new Ewing Marion Kauffman School, which will open in 2011, and advancing the math and science skills of students in the region. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. and has approximately $2 billion in assets.

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