2020/21 Hope Scholarship Program
What is the Hope Scholarship Program?
- The Hope Scholarship Program is a state of Florida school choice program.
- Students who have reported a qualified incident that took place at a K-12 public school/event are eligible.
- The Hope Scholarship Program was established by the Florida legislature to provide parents of public school students (K-12), who allege they were victims of one of the 13 qualifying incidents, the opportunity to
1) transfer his/her child to another public school with capacity,
2) request a scholarship for the student to enroll in and attend an eligible private school, or
3) apply for a $750 transportation scholarship to a public school outside of the BCPS (Broward County Public Schools) District.
Who is eligible for the Hope Scholarship Program?
Any BCPS student who reports they were the victim of a qualified incident at a K-12 public school, any school related or school-sponsored program or activity, riding the bus, or waiting at the bus stop is eligible. The accused may be a student or an adult.
What are the qualifying incidents for the Hope Scholarship Program?
- Listed below are the 13 qualifying incidents.
- Qualifying incidents must be reported during the same school year in which they occurred.
Qualifying Incidents* Battery Bullying Fighting Harassment Hazing Kidnapping Physical Attack Robbery Sexual Assault Sexual Battery Sexual Harassment Sexual Offenses Threat/Intimidation *Qualified incidents are subject to State and BCPS District classification. Some incidents may require high-level status in order to be qualified.
How do I apply for the Hope Scholarship?
- Step 1 – To begin the Hope Scholarship application process, a parent must contact the student's school and report the alleged Hope eligible incident to the Principal/Administrator. The Principal will begin an investigation into the incident and complete it within 15 school days.
- Step 2 – Within 24 hours of the report, the parent will be mailed or provided the signed original Hope Scholarship Initial Notification Form. This form contains directions on how to apply for Hope. The parent’s next step is to determine if they would like to change schools.
- To apply for transfer to another public school within BCPS, a parent will submit the completed Hope Scholarship Initial Notification Form to the Office of School Choice. The Office of School Choice will then provide the parent a link to an application. Note: The District does not provide public school Hope Scholarship Program students with transportation.
- To apply for a private school scholarship or transportation funding to another public school district, parents will contact and submit the form to the nonprofit Scholarship Funding Organization (SFO) Step Up for Students. The SFO is responsible for determining eligibility and awarding funding. The scholarship is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and is contingent upon available funds.
- Parents always have the option to apply to a Charter school. Charter schools manage their own application and registration processes and are to be contacted directly.
- Parents choosing to apply for a Hope Scholarship, are to do so within 15 days and must notify their assigned school if they choose to go to a private school.
- If no action is taken by the parent, the assigned school will assume the student will remain.
If I get the Hope Scholarship, how long will it last?
• A student who uses Hope to transfer to a school within BCPS, matriculates to the next school level in the identified feeder pattern on the Hope Scholarship application. Reapplication to attend the next school year or to move up to the next level is not necessary.
• A student who uses Hope to apply for a scholarship to a private school or transportation funding to another public school district, remains with their new school until high school graduation or until they return to the Broward County Public School District.
How long does it take to receive a scholarship?
- Within 24 hours of a student victim making a report of a qualifying Hope eligible incident to a principal, the parent will be mailed or provided the signed original 2-page Hope Scholarship Initial Notification Form.
- To apply for transfer to another public school within BCPS, a parent will submit the completed 2-page Hope Scholarship Initial Notification Form to the Office of School Choice. The Office of School Choice will then provide the parent a link to an application. Once the parent has completed the application for a public school transfer and returned it to the Office of School Choice, the Office of School Choice will process the application within 48 hours of receipt.
- When applying for a private school scholarship, the parent will apply directly to Step Up for Students.