Hope Scholarship Program

Program Information

  • ITT
  • Program Type: Individual Tuition Tax Credit

Program Update

Student participation begins in 2018-2019 school year
  • A student is eligible for a scholarship if he or she is enrolled in a Florida public school in grades K-12 and has reported an incident of: battery; harassment; hazing; bullying; kidnapping; physical attack; robbery; sexual offenses, harassment, assault or battery; threat or intimidation; or fighting at school
  • Upon conclusion of the investigation or within 15 days a€er the incident was reported, whichever occurs first, the school district must notify the student’s parent about the Hope Scholarship Program and offer the parent an opportunity to enroll his or her student in another public school that has capacity or to request and receive a scholarship to attend an eligible private school, subject to available funding
  • Students may use the Hope Scholarship until the student returns to public school or graduates from high school, whichever occurs first
  • Be approved by the state
  • Submit to the state annual sworn compliance reports regarding all local and state health, fire and safety codes
  • Comply with the federal nondiscrimination requirements of 42 U.S.C. §2000d
  • Teachers and other school personnel working with scholarship recipients must undergo federal background checks; school owners and operators must undergo a federal background check every five years
  • Teachers must have a bachelor’s degree, three years of teaching experience or special expertise; schools must notify parents in writing, or on the school’s website, about the qualifications of classroom teachers
  • Schools must send quarterly reports to parents on student’s progress
  • Schools in operation less than three years must obtain a surety bond or letter of credit to cover the value of the scholarship payments for one quarter
  • Any school receiving more than $250,000 in scholarships must provide financial reporting to the state
  • Schools with consecutive years of material exceptions within the financial reports may be deemed ineligible to participate by the state commissioner of education
  • Scholarship students in grades 3-10 must take a nationally recognized norm-referenced test or the state public school assessment; all schools with at least 30 students in grades 3-10 taking the test in consecutive years will have the gain scores published by state researchers
  • DOE will conduct site visits for all new participating schools. Beginning in 2019-20, new schools must receive a satisfactory site visit from DOE before the school is eligible to receive scholarship funding
  • DOE may conduct site visits on any school that has received a complaint, notice of noncompliance or a notice of proposed action within the previous two years
  • Must be annually approved by the State Board of Education
  • Allowed to keep 3% of funds raised to cover operating expenses if the SFO has operated with clean audits for more than three years
  • Make scholarships available for more than one school
  • Submit to the state:
    • Financial and compliance audit performed by certified public accountant
    • Operational audit conducted by the state auditor general
    • Quarterly reports on the number of scholarship recipients and participating schools
  • The purchaser of a motor vehicle is granted a credit of 100% of an eligible contribution made to an eligible nonprofit scholarship funding organization against any state tax, up to $105
  • Donations are collected from the purchaser by a car dealer, designated agent, or private tag agent as a result of the purchase or acquisition of a motor vehicle on or after October 1, 2018


Tax Credit Value
- 100 percent of donation
Scholarship Cap
- The max amount of private school scholarships is as follows:
-- Grades K-5 (88% of avg per-pupil funding for public schools: approx $6,519 for 2018-19)
-- Grades 6-8 (92% of avg per-pupil funding for public schools: approx $6,815 for 2018-19)
-- Grades 9-12 (96% of avg per-pupil funding for public schools: approx $7,111 for 2018-19)
- Alternatively, eligible students may receive up to a $750 scholarship for transportation to an out-of-district public school
Donor Tax Credit Cap
- 100 percent of state tax liability
Statewide Cap
- There is no cap on total program funding