TOPS Limitations Fail In House Committee
A change in the Louisiana's Taylor Opportunity Program For Students or TOPS has been defeated by the House Education Committee. The legislation that would have required students seeking TOPS funding would have required a higher GPA to qualify. Also a stipulation that students repay TOPS benefits should they drop out of school or the TOPS program failed in that same committee.
New Orleans Representative Walt Leger told the Louisiana Radio Network he did not feel turning TOPS into a loan program was in the best interest of the state's college bound students and their families.
It’s not necessarily a failure for a student to make a decision not to pursue their degree, and you’re certainly changing the opportunity that’s being presented to many students.
Representative Julie Stokes of Kenner disagreed with Mr. Leger and his assessment of what the TOPS program needs to be.
I’m actually trying to help these kids get their education so that they’ll take it seriously.
Stokes suggested that often students use TOPS money as a free ride for a semester of fun instead of taking their studies seriously.
Yet another bill concerning TOPS failed in the Education Committee yesterday this legislation authored by Chris Broadwater from Hammond would have changed the TOPS awards by increasing them on a sliding scale as a student progressed in his or her education curriculum.
That means it's back to the drawing board as the current school year is slowly drawing to a close. The inability of the legislature to create legislation that would define TOPS for students and parents is continuing to throw a serious kink into the plans of many Louisiana families who have kids or will have kids attending college in the near future.