Proposed budget calls for cuts to higher education and TOPS funded at 70%
Posted on 6/5/2018 1:19:00 PM.

A budget approved by lawmakers in the final hour of the second special session would reduce higher education funding by 96-million dollars and TOPS would be funded at 70%. President of the University of Louisiana System Dr. Jim Henderson says the idea of cuts to higher education and TOPS is disappointing.

“In an era where talent development is absolutely critical to the state’s competitiveness and employer competitiveness, we need to be making investments in the developments of those people.”

A sales tax bill that would have prevented cuts to higher education and TOPS failed in the final moments of the second special session. Dr. Henderson says that he does hold out hope that revenue will be found in an expected third special session…

“The overwhelming majority of the legislature voted for a budget that keeps colleges and universities stable and fully funds TOPS, the fact that they fell short on the revenue measures, is the part we have to work on.”

Dr. Henderson says going back on the promise of a fully funded TOPS scholarship is a message that the state should not want to convey to the students.

“The alternatives are just unthinkable we’ve got students that have met all of the criteria given to them by the state of Louisiana and to fault on that promise is just not a message we as a state want to send.”  

Dr. Jim Henderson, budget crisis, second special session

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