Schools of Hope
School of Hope
A charter school operated by a hope operator which serves students from one or more persistently low-performing schools; is located in the attendance zone of a persistently low-performing school or within a 5-mile radius of such school, whichever is greater; and is a Title I eligible school.
A hope operator is a nonprofit organization with tax exempt status under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that operates three or more charter schools that serve students in grades K-12 in Florida or other states with a record of serving students from low-income families and is designated by the State Board of Education as a hope operator based on a determination that:
- The past performance of the hope operator meets or exceeds the following criteria:
- The achievement of enrolled students exceeds the district and state averages of the states in which the operator’s schools operate;
- The average college attendance rate at all schools currently operated by the operator exceeds 80 percent, if such data is available;
- The percentage of students eligible for a free or reduced price lunch under the National School Lunch Act enrolled at all schools currently operated by the operator exceeds 70 percent;
- The operator is in good standing with the authorizer in each state in which it operates;
- The audited financial statements of the operator are free of material misstatements and going concern issues; and
- Other outcome measures as determined by the State Board of Education;
- The operator was awarded a United States Department of Education Charter School Program Grant for Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools within the preceding 3 years before applying to be a hope operator;
- The operator receives funding through the National Fund of the Charter School Growth Fund to accelerate the growth of the nation’s best charter schools; or
- The operator is selected by a district school board in accordance with s. 1002.333.
The five Florida designated hope operators are: Mater Academy, RCMA, Democracy Prep Public Schools, Inc., IDEA Public Schools, and KIPP New Jersey.