This legislative session is pushing the opportunities for professional and vocational education further away from the young adults of this state. Not only are they crushing the hope for this generation but for all the young citizens trying to become self-sustainable adults.

The argument is that TOPS is too expensive for the state to support. Apparently they believe that by shifting the cost from all taxpayers (individuals and businesses) to only the citizens that have children needing education or training after high school is better. Yeah, that makes sense. It’s less of a burden if only a few carry it rather than we all share the load. Me thinks these fellas would have benefited from a higher education funded by TOPS rather than the one they are using.

TOPS is a good program that is merit-based. If you don’t perform, you will lose it. It will benefit this generation and all other generations but only if we protect it.

Placing a cap on TOPS and then allowing universities and trade schools to raise tuition will kill TOPS. A 5 percent increase compounded annually will produce a 100 percent increase in tuition while TOPS stays the same. This is NOT saving TOPS, and it is not helping.

Our legislators should be investing in the future of our state by assisting those willing to work hard. Please help me to help you save TOPS.

Bill Salmon

respiratory therapist

Denham Springs