• Martin County School District

    Student Services Department

     HOPE Scholarship Defined and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) & Resources


    Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, contingent upon available funds, and on a first-come, first serve basis, a K-12 student enrolled in a Florida public school is eligible for a scholarship under this program if the student 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.


    The scholarship gives parents the opportunity to transfer their child to another K-12 public school with capacity within the school district, receive a scholarship to transport the student to a public school in another school district, or to request a scholarship for the student to attend an eligible private school.  A qualifying incident must have taken place at a public K-12 educational institution, any school-related or school-sponsored program or activity, riding on the school bus or waiting at the school bus stop.


     Apply Here:

     Each of the Scholarship Funding Organizations (SFO) below is approved to administer the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, the Gardiner Scholarship, the Hope Scholarship, and the Reading Scholarship Programs. Please contact the SFO to determine the programs they administer.

    A.A.A. Scholarship Foundation- FL, LLC
    P.O. Box 15719, Tampa, FL 33684
    Phone/Fax: 888-707-2465

    Step Up For Students
    P.O. Box 54367
    Jacksonville, FL 32245-4367




     Who is eligible for the Hope Scholarship Program?


    A student who has experienced and reported an incident of battery, harassment, hazing, bullying, kidnapping, physical attack, sexual offenses, threat or intimidation, or fighting at school will be given the opportunity to enroll in another public school that has capacity or the ability to request and receive a scholarship to attend an eligible private school.

    A qualifying incident, as seen above, must have taken place at a K-12 public school, any school related or school-sponsored program or activity, riding the bus or waiting at the bus stop.

    A parent who chooses to enroll his or her child in a public school located outside the district in which the student resides shall be eligible for a scholarship to transport the student.


    What is the term of the Hope Scholarship?

    A Hope scholarship shall remain in force until the student returns to public school or graduates from high school, whichever occurs first. A scholarship student who enrolls in a public school or public school program is considered to have returned to a public school for the purpose of determining the end of the scholarship’s term.


    Can the scholarship be forfeited?

    The scholarship is forfeited when a parent enrolls the student in a public school or the student is enrolled in a DJJ commitment program.


    The student is not eligible for scholarship while he or she is:

    • Receiving a Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, Gardiner Scholarship or McKay Scholarship.
    • Participating in a home education program.
    • Participating in a private tutoring program pursuant to section 1002.43, F.S.
    • Participating in a virtual school, correspondence school, or distance learning program that receives state funding unless the participation is limited to no more than two courses per year.
    • Enrolled in the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind.


    Where can I find more information about the Hope Scholarship Program?

    SFO websites, http://www.fldoe.org/schools/school-choice/k-12-scholarship-programs/sfo/

    Section 1002.40, F.S.

    Rule 6A.6-0951, F.A.C.


    For the 2018-19 school year, only Step Up For Students will be administering this program.


      My student is eligible for the Hope Scholarship, now what?

    Once the school principal has provided you the original, signed Hope Scholarship Program Incident Report Form, your next step is to determine if you would like to enroll your student in another public school or an eligible private school.


    • To enroll in another public school, please contact your school district office.
    • To apply for funding to attend an eligible private school or to apply for the transportation scholarship, you will need to contact one of the approved nonprofit Scholarship Funding Organizations (SFO).


    I would like to enroll my student at a public school in a neighboring district. How can I apply for transportation funding?

    You will need to apply for the scholarship through one of the approved SFO by providing the original version of the Hope Scholarship Notification Form and submitting any further documentation required by the SFO you are applying through.


    How do I apply to enroll my student in an eligible private school?

    You will need to apply for the scholarship through one of the approved SFO by providing the original version of the Hope Scholarship Notification Form and submitting any further documentation required by the SFO you are applying through. The SFO is responsible for determining eligibility and awarding funding.


    How is eligibility determined?

    By way of receiving the Hope Notification Form signed by your principal or designee, the student is eligible. The SFO in which you have applied under will award the funding. The scholarship is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and is contingent on available funds.


    What is the average scholarship amount if I choose the private school option?

    • Grades K-5 $6,519.00
    • Grades 6-8 $6,815.00
    • Grades 9-12 $7,112.00


    Where can I find a list of eligible private schools?

    The Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice maintains a directory of private schools which can be found at http://www.floridaschoolchoice.org/information/privateschooldirectory/. You may filter for schools by district.


    Can the scholarship be transferred to another eligible private school if the student moves within the state or wants to attend another private school?

    Yes, the scholarship can be transferred to another eligible private school. You may want to check with your Scholarship Funding Organization if transferring during the school year affects payments to the school(s).


    What are my responsibilities as the parent of a Hope Scholarship recipient?

    • Select an eligible private school and apply for the admission of his or her child;
    • Inform the child's school district when the parent withdraws his or her child to attend an eligible private school within 15 days of that decision;
    • Ensure the scholarship student remains in attendance throughout the school year unless excused by the school for illness or other good cause;
    • Ensure that the student participating in the scholarship program takes the norm-referenced assessment offered by the private school.
    • If desired, request from the school district for the student to take the statewide assessment pursuant to s. 1008.22, F.S., and provide transportation to the test site designated by the district;
    • Restrictively endorse or approve a funds transfer of the scholarship payment to the private school for deposit into the account of the private school.


    The most up to date FAQ may be found at





    Tax-Credited Contributions - https://www.stepupforstudents.org/for-donors/tax-credited-contributions/

    Donate Now - https://www.stepupforstudents.org/donor-resources/donate-now/

    Get Involved - https://www.stepupforstudents.org/join-us/

    Find Your School - https://www.stepupforstudents.org/schoolsearch/#/

    Our Stories - https://www.stepupforstudents.org/choose-story/

    Document Library - https://www.stepupforstudents.org/for-parents/document-library-v2/

    Privacy Policy - https://www.stepupforstudents.org/privacy-policy/ 




    Ms. Theresa Iuliucci,  Director of Student Services                                                                                                                                          

    Mrs. Michelle Villwock, Coordinator of Student Services