Student body leaders plead with lawmakers not to cut TOPS funding
Posted on 4/20/2017 5:44:00 AM.

Student body leaders call on the state legislature to fully fund the TOPS scholarship program. Under the governor’s current budget proposal, TOPS is only funded at 70 percent. Northwestern State University student president John Pearce testified before the House Appropriations Committee and says he’s heard a lot of concerns from students.
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John Pearce, Elizabeth Fernandez, TOPS, higher education

Bill that eliminates education tax credit moves to Senate floor
Posted on 4/18/2017 3:37:00 AM.

As lawmakers look at structural tax reform, a big idea floating around the capitol involves eliminating unnecessary tax exemptions. A bill by New Orleans Senator JP Morrell that would do just that is heading to the Senate floor. The proposal would scrap the education tax credit that parents or guardians are able to claim.
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JP Morrell, taxes, tax credits, education, TOPS,

TOPS, criminal justice reform and the gas tax are major topics for the session
Posted on 4/10/2017 3:21:00 AM.

TOPS, criminal justice reform and proposals to raise the gasoline tax are some of the big topics up for discussion as the legislative session begins today. There are bills filed that raise the minimum GPA to qualify for the TOPS scholarship. Political Analyst Bernie Pinsonat says this proposal will face fierce opposition from the legislative black caucus.
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legislative session, Bernie Pinsonat, TOPS, criminal justice reform, gas tax

Multiple bills filed that would raise minimum GPA to receive TOPS
Posted on 4/3/2017 12:59:00 PM.

There are two bills filed for the upcoming legislative regular session that seek to raise the minimum GPA for high school students to receive the TOPS scholarship. A cumulative GPA of 2.5 is currently required and the proposed legislation raises the requirement to 3.0. Minden Representative Gene Reynolds is the author of the one of the bills.
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legislative session, TOPS, Gene Reynolds

Lawmaker hopes to have TOPS recipients pay back scholarship if they leave the state
Posted on 3/30/2017 12:34:00 PM.

Legislation has been filed that would require TOPS recipients who leave Louisiana after graduating to pay 50% of their scholarship back to the state over time. Alexandria Senator Jay Luneau says the goal of his bill is to keep the best and brightest in the Bayou State.
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Jay Luneau, TOPS, legislative session

Survey finds public does not support lowering TOPS award amount to save money
Posted on 3/28/2017 3:38:00 AM.

Most Louisianans oppose reducing the amount of the TOPS scholarship award to cut costs, according to a recent survey from LSU. State leaders have proposed several means of making TOPS more affordable, including limiting the amount each student receives. Michael Henderson with the LSU Public Policy Research Lab says 64 percent of respondents are not in favor of that method.
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Michael Henderson, LSU Public Policy Research Lab, TOPS, Louisiana Survey

BR lawmaker proposes funding TOPS with gambling funds
Posted on 3/28/2017 3:01:00 AM.

A bill filed for the regular session seeks to fully fund the TOPS scholarship program with gambling franchise fees. Baton Rouge Representative Franklin Foil says his bill dedicates part of the funds from riverboat gambling to TOPS so the program isn’t underfunded in the future like it was this year.
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Franklin Foil, TOPS, gambling, budget, education

Board of Regents tables proposal to raise credit hour requirement for TOPS
Posted on 2/24/2017 3:14:00 PM.

The Board of Regents decided not to move forward on a recommendation to increase the credit hour requirement to 30 hours for TOPS students and instead tabled the idea for more study. Higher Education Commissioner Joe Rallo supports the board’s decision to hold off on upping the hourly requirement from 24 hours.
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Joe Rallo, higher education, TOPS, Board of Regents,

Board of Regents to finalize recommendations on TOPS changes
Posted on 2/24/2017 4:03:00 AM.

TOPS is not fully funded under the governor’s spending plan for next fiscal year. Officials say it will take more than 80 million additional dollars to pay for the scholarship program. Higher Education Commissioner Joe Rallo has concerns about how students will react to TOPS once again being funded at only 70%.
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Joe Rallo, TOPS, Board of Regents, higher education

Edwards administration unveils spending plan for next fiscal year
Posted on 2/23/2017 10:56:00 AM.

The Edwards administration unveiled a spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1, and TOPS is not fully funded under their proposal. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne says it will take an additional $81 million to fully fund the scholarship program.
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Jay Dardenne, budget, TOPS, DCFS, DOTD, regular session

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