TOPS

beltramistudios / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Springtime is acceptance letter season for most college bound high school students, and the state’s budget uncertainty is causing many to rethink whether they want to attend school in Louisiana. LSU president F. King Alexander is calling on legislators to find a budget solution that funds higher ed and TOPS by the end of the February special session.

 

Alexander says there was a noticeable impact the last time the state failed to properly fund TOPS in a timely manner.

 

Road Travel America / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Governor Edwards and state lawmakers are in Baton Rouge for the special session to find a solution to the looming fiscal cliff that threatens to gut popular programs like TOPS. The governor is seeking tax reform, and Republicans want spending reductions. Erath Representative Blake Miguez says the GOP caucus is demanding the creation of the Louisiana Checkbook.

 

He says the program would increase transparency, and would closely resembles Ohio’s Ohiocheckbook.com

 

Road Travel America / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

House Republicans are looking at renewing at least some or all of the temporary one cent sales tax as a way to address a looming one billion dollar shortfall. Houma Representative Tanner Mcgee.

 

But Governor John Bel Edwards says he will not support any plan that maintains the current sales tax rate which is currently five percent, one of the highest in the country. And Baton Rouge Representative Ted James says legislators promised to let the temporary sales tax penny expire when they voted for it in 2016.

 

TOPS Task Force To Vote On Proposals

Jan 31, 2018
Antrell Williams / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

A TOPS task force will vote on a series of recommendations today they hope will bring long-term sustainability to the popular scholarship program. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish says under his proposal many TOPS students would not have their tuition fully paid for anymore.

 

Morrish proposes a 4,000 dollar stipend for TOPS Opportunity recipients, those are incoming freshman that have a C average high school grades. He says students that have a higher GPA and ACT score will receive higher financial awards.

 

Antrell Williams / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

The governor’s proposed budget calls for an 80 percent cut in state funding for TOPS, because of a one-billion dollar reduction in state revenues. President of the University of Louisiana System Dr. Jim Henderson says a cut like that would cost students and their families thousands of dollars a year.

 

Along with a massive cut to TOPS, the budget included an additional 26-million dollar cut to higher education. Higher ed dodged budget cuts last year, and Henderson says it had a big impact on the UL system.

 

osfa.la.gov

Louisiana lawmakers, struggling with budget shortfalls, are again looking to restructure the TOPS college tuition program to lessen costs.

Proposals include boosting the grade point average required to get the award or steering more of the money to needy students. Another measure would require students who receive TOPS to work in Louisiana after college or repay some money spent on their tuition.

http://www.osfa.la.gov/landing/TOPSindex.htm

Louisiana lawmakers, struggling with budget shortfalls, are again looking to restructure the TOPS college tuition program to lessen costs.

 

Proposals include boosting the grade point average required to get the award or steering more of the money to needy students. Another measure would require students who receive TOPS to work in Louisiana after college or repay some money spent on their tuition.