Press Release | Jan 2019

Koret Foundation Launches $11 Million K-12 Education Innovation Initiative for 2019

Bay Area-based Koret Foundation to invest in dozens of K-12 programs to serve as a model for regional programming with a national impact


SAN FRANCISCO – The Koret Foundation has launched a new K-12 Education Innovation Initiative to provide more than $11 million worth of grants over the next three years to fund pilot programs in the Bay Area. Grantees include organizations devoted to ensuring college access and success, STEM learning, teacher training, and skills- and opportunity-building for students in underserved communities.

Koret has provided grants to 35 organizations, including $2 million for the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), which is in year one of a three-year project to increase college preparedness among students in the Bay Area’s Hayward Unified School District; $1.5 million for Beyond 12 to make its coaching app and support available to all low-income and first-generation college-bound students; $1.4 million to the Hoover Institution at Stanford for education reform policy work; and $1 million for College Track’s new STEM program pilot. Other grantees include KQED, the YMCA of San Francisco, KIPP Bay Area, and Teach for America Bay Area. A full list of grantees can be found here.

“Building on the innovative spirit that guides the Bay Area, our education initiative enables grantees to test new ideas locally that can have a broader impact,” said Michael J. Boskin, President of the Koret Foundation. “These organizations have the potential to elevate the quality of and access to education in the region.”

The main goal of the K-12 Education Innovation Initiative is to improve opportunity, preparation, and support for students to grow into successful adults. The initiative has five primary support areas:

  • Preparing and supporting underserved and first-generation students to and through college
  • Providing exposure, learning and experience in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), particularly for those under-represented in these careers
  • Providing teachers with skills and training needed for new and emerging pedagogy
  • Building life and career skills though work-based learning, internships and leadership development
  • Advancing new ideas in education policy through the analysis and dissemination of research

“The Koret Foundation’s generous gift gives us the flexibility to design and test a new variant of our proven high-tech, high-touch college success coaching model, with the aim of increasing our reach to eventually support one million under-represented students annually,” said Alexandra Bernadotte, Founder and CEO of Beyond 12. “Through this work, we can – and will – support our students in their efforts to earn meaningful degrees that pave the way to a successful future.” Koret is partnering with Informing Change, a strategic learning firm dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and impact of giving, during the three-year grant period to evaluate the initiative’s results.

To be connected with leadership at the Koret Foundation, or grantees of our Education Innovation Initiative, please contact Tony Franquiz at [email protected].