Plan to overhaul TOPS gains traction, sparks arguments ahead of final report

Article By: Will Sentell | January 29, 2018 | Originally Posted on 2theadvocate.com

The chairman of the legislative task force studying TOPS said Friday his plan to overhaul the program is gaining political traction.

Higher Education Commissioner Joseph Rallo, Jim Henderson, president of the University of Louisiana System and Monty Sullivan, president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, said Morrish’s plan has merit.

But others are lining up to squash the proposal, and Gov. John Bel Edwards has questioned the need for any changes in TOPS aside from full funding.

 “I don’t think this will pass,” said James Caillier, executive director of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, which is named for the co-founder of the college aid program.

TOPS stands for Taylor Opportunity Program for Students. About 52,000 students get the aid, which helps pay for college tuition.

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