Our Mission

Our mission is to bring together Catholic-school advocates across all sectors who believe in the transformative power of a Catholic education through educational choice.

Florida’s Renaissance

Across the United States, Catholic schools are closing and consolidating at a rapid rate, threatening the future of the nation’s highest performing network of schools.

But in Florida, Catholic schools are growing.

The Florida Bishops are actively engaged in feasibility studies to expand Catholic education in Florida, partnering with national networks and building brand new schools across the state.

School choice programs in Florida play a critical role in this growth, providing nearly $140 Million in scholarship funds to more than 24,000 Catholic school students annually — making Catholic education more accessible to Floridians than ever before.

The Rising Tide Initiative unites the voices of all of Florida’s Catholic schools, celebrating our achievements and sharing our Good News with the world. In doing so, we continue to grow our Catholic schools, attracting the attention of prospective families, teachers, benefactors and community members – those who share our vision and believe that Catholic education should be accessible to all.

Why Rising Tide?

In 2015, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation approached Step Up For Students and the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops with a vision – a statewide network of Catholic school advocates spanning across sectors working to advance the Church’s mission in education, namely ensuring that all children who seek an education in the faith can access one.

Florida has the broadest network of school choice participants in the United States, and Catholic schools are the highest performing of any national network of schools. The Rising Tide Initiative builds upon these facts, inspired by the Catholic Church’s mission in education.

When school choice and Catholic schools partner, more students receive an exceptional education, building intelligent, empathetic citizens who contribute to society.


Our Purpose is Three-Fold


Tell the Good News

Florida’s 244 Catholic schools are innovative, inclusive, accessible and effective, uniting high quality academics with faith and justice and reaching more children every year.

Our schools are growing and our students are thriving. We want to tell the stories of these schools with a united mission and single voice.


Grow Our Network
The innovation and expansion of Florida’s Catholic school system is a true beacon of hope for the domestic Church, and our leaders have a vision to build on that hope for years to come.

As our Catholic schools grow, we want to inspire and attract the most highly qualified, passionate talent to teach our students and lead our communities.


Advocate for Choice
Across Florida, more than 24,000 students have access to Catholic school because of a school choice voucher or scholarship, making Catholic education more accessible than ever before.

We want to expand access to these school choice programs to ensure that every child who seeks a Catholic education has access to one.