Great Hearts America

At a Glance

National Office: 
3102 North 56th Street Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85018
Phone: 602.438.7045

Dan Scoggin
People Served: 
6,300
Year Founded: 
2003
Tax ID: 
20-2036133

Focus area(s):

Charter Schools
K-12 Reform

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Description

Great Hearts is the premier network of K-12 charter schools that provides an exceptional education for all families.  The classical, liberal arts curriculum, once reserved for the elite few at expensive private schools, is now available at our open-enrollment and tuition-free academies.  Since its inception in 2003, Great Hearts has grown from serving 300 students at one academy in Phoenix, Arizona to serving 13,500 students of every background across Phoenix, San Antonio, and Dallas-Ft. Worth during the 2016-17 school year.

By studying with the Great Books of Western Culture in the classroom, participation in extra-curricular athletic programs, and through our fine arts offering, our students receive a relevant educational experience that encourages them to be well-rounded, critical-thinking, and mature graduates. We prepare our students to be more than proficient test-takers, but rather, to be free citizens: capable of innovation and leadership in any field in which they choose to endeavor.

Impact and Outcomes

At Great Hearts Academies across Arizona and now Texas, we are proud of our 100% graduation rate, with 98% of graduates attending colleges and universities and 2% participating in military service or a gap year.
Also, 67% of 2016 graduates were accepted into “more or most” selective universities. The Average SAT Score at Great Hearts is 1210 – twenty percent higher than the national average.

Mission & Goals

Our mission is to provide American students the finest education and moral formation available anywhere in the world. The ultimate goal of the organization is to graduate “great-hearted” young men and women who possess a sense of destiny and purpose that is directed to the service of the greater good.  And establishing a network of Great Hearts schools in a metropolitan area not only provides an outstanding education to those who choose to enroll, but it also increases competition and spurs improved performance of neighboring public and private schools competing for student enrolment.

Because of our scalable and proven charter school model, Great Hearts has always been an organization committed to growth. Currently, our enrollment growth goal is to serve 30,000 students in Phoenix, San Antonio, and Dallas-Ft. Worth by 2025. Our sights are set even higher than that, though, with the ultimate goal of opening in more states that will have an impact that revitalizes American education on a national scale.

Program

At Great Hearts, the liberal arts core curriculum is a key aspect to shaping well-rounded, mature graduates.  In our daily Humane Letters 2-hour seminars, students read, discuss, and write about the great works of Western Culture, from Plato to our American Founders to Solzhenitsyn.  Middle school students take Latin as a precursor to immersion in a modern foreign language or Ancient Greek.  Finally, an intense focus on math and science is core to the program, with every student taking 2 years of Calculus before graduation and 4 years of honors lab science.  This academic model is delivered via a very intentional school culture with an honor code and uniforms, and a full, competitive athletic program. 

Character development is another distinguishing hallmark of a Great Hearts education.  Each academy strives to create an environment in which good character, and the open pursuit of it, is modeled and highly regarded. Great Hearts believes that academic accomplishment is a natural byproduct of a preparatory school culture that first values integrity and personal responsibility. 

Impact

Great Hearts is making an impact in the lives of each student we serve by guiding them not only to achieve their academic potential, but to use their talents in service of the greater good. While we at Great Hearts do not pretend to have the perfect or only method for inscribing character in our students, we have developed an approach to seeking this most noble goal that is working and producing eloquent, thoughtful, service-oriented graduates, young men and women of good character.

We are also committed to the broader goal in education reform to help improve the education system as a whole. Establishing a network of Great Hearts schools in a metropolitan area not only provides an outstanding education to those who choose to enroll, but it also increases competition and spurs improved performance of neighboring public and private schools. This notion of a “rising tide raises all boats” has been realized in Arizona.

Growth Plan

Great Hearts is now the largest “brick and mortar” classical education provider in the country, and seeks to serve many more students across the country in the decade ahead.  We do not seek “growth for growth’s sake,” but seek opportunities for strategic expansion because a generation of public school students deserves access to an education that cultivates their hearts and minds for the pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty.

We seek to grow in places where demand from families and community support allow us to create sustainable academies. With family satisfaction rates increasing and enrollment waitlists growing, we believe it is a moral imperative to grow and serve as many of these families as we can.  It is through our commitment to growth that we seek to fulfill Mortimer Adler’s anti-elitist proclamation that the “best education for the best is the best education for all.”  In short, Great Hearts seeks to re-democratize classical education, its rightful domain.   

Great Hearts employs a regional or “city model” approach to growing our network of classical, liberal arts academies. We believe that opening clusters of schools within finite regional markets provides the best results and the most rapid impact. A regional network achieves economies of scale and local brand recognition, which can be leveraged to attract and retain talented school leadership and teachers, build strong shared services support, deliver a robust professional development program, create enrollment demand and establish strong philanthropic and business partners.

Great Hearts achieves self-sustainability in regions when our networks of academies are scaled. Because charter schools do not receive state per-pupil funding until students are in the seats or any funding for facilities, we require significant start-up capital to open schools in a new region. We also must invest heavily in teacher talent and leadership development to cultivate the school leaders who will open and operate new academies.  Once the built-out network of academies and its support services office has reached scale in a region, it becomes fully sustainable on per-student funding, making donations to Great Hearts a highly leveraged philanthropic investment. 

Grants and donations to support regional start-up funding for new growth or human capital professional development makes growth possible as Great Hearts seeks to serve more and more students and to cultivate minds and hearts for the pursuit of truth, beauty, and goodness.

In addition to supporting our mature “home” region in Arizona and engaging opportunities for growth in new states and regions, Great Hearts is actively pursuing philanthropic partnerships in our younger San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth regions, where the growth plans are in the early stages. 

Location of Sites

National Office: 
3102 North 56th Street Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85018
Phone: 602.438.7045
List of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
  2. If a "notes" or "designation" box is not available, write the city and state on your check in the "notes" section or call the national office to designate your contribution to a local program site.

Locations in the following states:

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Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2017

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$2,298
Foundation Grants: 
$250
Government Funding: 
$96,734
Contributions from Individuals: 
$12,313
Special Events: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$9,714
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$138
Other Revenue: 
$1,925
Other Revenue (Description): 
Management fees, interest income, and rental income.
Total Revenue: 
$123,372

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$67,697
Occupancy: 
$8,099
Travel & Entertainment: 
$537
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$1,855
Telephone & Communications: 
$420
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$34,578
Other Expenses (Description): 

$8,253
Total Expenses: 
$113,186

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$10,186

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2016

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$733
Foundation Grants: 
$2,711
Government Funding: 
$92,299
Contributions from Individuals: 
$9,995
Program Services Fees: 
$8,887
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$269
Other Revenue: 
$2,589
Special Events: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$117,483

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$63,088
Occupancy: 
$7,548
Travel & Entertainment: 
$500
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$1,728
Telephone & Communication: 
$391
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$32,224
Other Expenses (Description): 

$7,691
Total Expenses: 
$105,479

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$12,004

Major Funders

The Chapman Charitable Trust

Charles Koch Foundation

Connemara Fund

Foster & Lynne Friess

The Louis Calder Foundation

The Randolph Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation

Charter School Growth Fund, a national venture philanthropy fund supported by multiple foundations that include:

The Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation

The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

The Doris & Donald Fisher Fund

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Kern Family Foundation