Membership announced for TOPS task force
Posted on 8/3/2017 5:33:00 AM.

Membership has been announced for a task force that will examine the $350 million TOPS scholarship program for the first time since it was established 20 years ago. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish will chair the committee. He says the panel consists of an array of lawmakers representing both parties and all corners of the state.
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Blade Morrish, TOPS, task force, higher education

Higher ed leaders pleased with results of legislative session
Posted on 6/16/2017 12:42:00 PM.

UL System President Dr. Jim Henderson says this is one of the most successful legislative sessions for higher ed in nearly a decade. Henderson says he’s thrilled lawmakers approved a budget that fully funds TOPS, after failing to do so for the first time in the program’s history last academic year.
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Jim Henderson, higher education, TOPS, budget

TOPS expected to be fully funded in budget
Posted on 6/8/2017 2:54:00 AM.

Budget negotiations continue at the Capitol, but the House and Senate say they plan to fully fund TOPS next fiscal year. Higher Ed Commissioner Joe Rallo says education leaders are still holding their breath until the session ends this evening. He says funding TOPS gives students some certainty, but its possible scholarship recipients will have to pay some money towards tuition costs.
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Joe Rallo, TOPS, higher ed, budget, regular session

Legislation seeking to make it harder to get TOPS fails to become law
Posted on 6/1/2017 1:34:00 PM.
Baton Rouge Representative Franklin Foil ends his effort to raise the minimum GPA required for high school students to receive the TOPS scholarship. Foil told Senate Education a task force will be formed to examine TOPS and he'll wait to see their findings before pursing his legislation.
TOPS, Franklin Foil, Senate education, minimum GPA

Bill to raise minimum GPA for TOPS to 2.75 hits the Senate side today
Posted on 6/1/2017 3:49:00 AM.
A bill to raise the minimum GPA requirement to receive the TOPS scholarship will be heard in the Senate education committee today. Under current rules, students have to earn a minimum of 2.5 GPA on their high school core curriculum to qualify. Baton Rouge Representative Franklin Foil's bill would raise that to 2.75 for students who start 9th grade in the fall.
TOPS, GPA, Franklin Foil

Senate Education chairman wants a TOPS task force to study the program
Posted on 5/25/2017 4:44:00 AM.
The Senate Education Committee will discuss today whether a task force should be formed to study how to ensure the TOPS scholarship program long-term liability. Senate Education Chairman Blade Morrish says the taxpayer funded program has not been examined since it was created over 20 years ago.
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legislative session, Blade Morrish, TOPS

Bill to raise GPA requirement for TOPS narrowly passes House
Posted on 5/23/2017 6:39:00 PM.

The bill that would require students starting 9th grade this fall to have at least a 2.75 GPA in order to receive the TOPS scholarship advanced on the House floor. The current requirement is 2.5. Baton Rouge Representative Franklin Foil says there is a reason his bill wouldn't take effect for 4 years.
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Franklin Foil, Joe Bouie, Gary Carter, Kenny Cox, TOPS

John Alario: Senate committed to fully funding TOPS despite budget woes
Posted on 5/19/2017 11:48:00 AM.

Senate President John Alario says the upper chamber is committed to fully funding the TOPS scholarship program. Alario says the House budget plan takes money away from the Department of Health to fully fund TOPS and they are taking a close look at that proposal.
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legislative session, John Alario, TOPS, budget

House committee advances bill to increase TOPS GPA requirement
Posted on 5/10/2017 2:28:00 PM.

The House Education Committee advances a bill to increase the minimum GPA requirement for TOPS from 2.5 to 2.75. Baton Rouge Representative Franklin Foil authored the measure. He says he’s hearing a lot of frustration from voters about the uncertainty of the scholarship program.
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Franklin Foil, Barry Irwin, James Callier, TOPS, higher ed

House Appropriations votes to fully fund TOPS
Posted on 5/1/2017 2:10:00 PM.

The House Appropriations Committee has voted to fully fund the TOPS scholarship program for the next fiscal year. Baton Rouge Representative Franklin Foil amended the state’s spending plan to take $82 million from the Department of Health’s budget so TOPS students would have their tuition fully paid for.
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Franklin Foil, Walt Leger, TOPS, budget, fiscal session

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