Today the TOPS Task Force meets for the first time, as state leaders take a closer look at the scholarship program. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish authored the legislation that created the task force. He says almost no changes have been made to TOPS in the past 20 years, but a lot has changed in higher education in the last two decades.
“We didn’t even have a community college system in Louisiana 20 years ago. We do now. We didn’t have admissions requirements at our four-year institutions 20 years ago, and we do now,” Morrish said.
Morrish says they want to see where TOPS is going, what needs to be done, and what the legislative intent is of the scholarship program. He says the goal of the task force is to collect all the information available on TOPS so lawmakers can make decisions about the future of the program.
“We need to prepare a lot of information for people so that they can know everything there is to about TOPS. We can have public testimony on it,” Morrish said.
The task force will meet twice a month for the next four months before issuing their report in February. Morrish says the purpose of today’s meeting is to get a general overview of the taxpayer funded scholarship program.
“We’re going to talk about the creation of TOPS, how it got to where it was, what the legislative intent was 20 years ago. We’re going to talk about where we are today with the number of students, how much it’s costing us,” Morrish said.