Proposed redesign of Louisiana tuition program criticized
BATON ROUGE - A proposal to rewrite Louisiana's TOPS college tuition program, to limit the dollars flowing to lower-performing students, is hitting pushback before it even gets a vote.
Sen. Dan "Blade" Morrish, a Jennings Republican, wants to lessen the amount of tuition covered for students who reach the basic award for a four-year college, to a flat $4,000 annual payment. The annual tuition rate in Louisiana averages $5,600.
Payments would increase for higher-performing students.
Critics on Wednesday said the changes could keep students from attending college and disproportionately hit poorer students. Morrish says TOPS would remain generous, and he says the change could push students to improve performance.
A legislative task force studying TOPS will decide on Feb. 7 whether to include Morrish's proposal in its recommendations to the full Legislature.