In Monday’s Advocate Barry Erwin, president of the Council for A Better Louisiana, a nonpartisan group that studies public policy issues, questions whether the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students is sustainable in its current form while also praising the scholarship program for helping high school students better prepare for college.
The state House of Representatives Fiscal Division estimates TOPS will cost taxpayers $168 million in the current fiscal year. In five years, the program is expected to cost $233 million as colleges continue to raise tuition.

Erwin was a member of the 18-member Governance Commission created by the Legislature in 2011 to study higher education. Among the panel’s recommendations was capping the TOPS program at a set dollar figure. Another suggestion was separating the amount of money awarded from actual tuition charged and tying it to a more “appropriate” cost barometer, such as inflation or the Consumer Price Index.
The story also noted that State Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, a member of the state House Education Committee, says TOPS should be capped or scaled back.

Read The Advocate story here.

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