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KLA Foundation Launches Annual Fund to Reduce Education Inequity with Initial $1M Investment

Mar 13, 2023 3 min read

The KLA Foundation is reinforcing its longstanding commitment to reducing societal inequities by announcing the KLA Education Equity Fund, a multiyear commitment in annual grants for education-related nonprofits working to narrow the gap for underrepresented K-12 students.

Each year, the new philanthropic fund will accelerate community efforts to expand access to quality education by delivering academic, social and cultural resources essential to the success of first-generation, limited-income and underrepresented students. In its inaugural cycle, the KLA Education Equity Fund will focus on communities in the U.S. where KLA has operations.

The fund aims to drive progress in three areas that are core to the KLA Foundation’s mission:

  • Expanding access to education with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by designing, creating or implementing technology or programming that removes barriers; STEM is critical to the future of the semiconductor and related technology industries, and having a skilled workforce is essential to continued growth
  • Advancing emotional wellbeing by supporting the development of sustained social-emotional and mental health support
  • Improving systems through influencing change in policies and curriculum and supporting a diverse talent pipeline

In the U.S., K-12 education has the power to lift communities and strengthen the economy, according to Jen Shea, executive director, KLA Foundation. To fulfill this promise, the U.S. must address the inequities that underrepresented students experience, Jen adds, and KLA is committed to investing in communities where it has a presence.

“There is no greater area for KLA to impact than education. As a global technology leader, KLA is known for cutting-edge research and the discovery of scientific breakthroughs. The KLA Foundation celebrates this history by pursuing strategic partnerships with innovative organizations that are affecting change. The KLA Education Equity Fund works to bring resources to students furthest from educational justice to help them learn, grow and thrive. We are truly grateful for this opportunity.”

Jen Shea, executive director, KLA Foundation

Working to Close the Gap

A recent study shows that disparities in education start as early as kindergarten, with 13-16% of White children considered high performers in math and science compared to 3-4% of Black or Hispanic children.

New programs and initiatives are helping to close this gap and others, but much work still needs to be done at the local and national levels to narrow it even further, Jen says.

The KLA Foundation will prioritize funding requests that have a clear strategy to challenge the status quo and address the root causes of inequity. The foundation encourages locally owned and operated nonprofits that are innovative, future focused and have an asset-based approach to submit a letter of intent (LOI) to the KLA Education Equity Fund.

The KLA Foundation will accept letters of intent March 20 through Friday, April 14. Organizations receiving an invitation to apply must submit their application before midnight on Friday, May 26. To learn more about eligibility requirements and the submission process, please see details here and below.  

2023 Application Timeline

  • Accepting LOIs: Monday, March 20, through 11:59 p.m. PST Friday, April 14; to submit, visit the KLA Foundation website.
  • Invitation to apply sent to selected organizations: Friday, April 28
  • Application deadline: 11:59 p.m. PST Friday, May 26
  • Awards announced: Friday, June 16
  • Funds disbursed: July

Learn more about the KLA Foundation and its many ongoing projects by visiting our website.

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