There have been many articles written and discussions about TOPS. Millions of dollars have been spent on student aid and how the program costs can be decreased by raising ACT scores, increasing grade point averages, the eligibility concerning student family incomes, etc. What's overlooked is the increased spending that came in 2010 when the Louisiana Legislature passed and the governor signed an expansion of TOPS to cover 54 "other" schools that were not Louisiana four-year colleges, universities or community colleges.

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Senate Education Committee member Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, speaking Thursday, April 20, 2017 during debate on SB110 by Sen. Jay Luneau, D-Alexandria, said it was unfair to require students to remain in the state if Louisiana cannot offer abundant job opportunities. SB110, which would generally require many TOPS recipients to repay half of their scholarship amount, if they leave Louisiana earlier than four years after they graduate, was shelved by the committee, effectively defeating it.

These "other" schools, for example,  range from cosmetology schools, beauty schools to diesel driving schools. How many millions of state dollars are funding these "other" schools? What criteria is used for student eligibility? Please contact your state representatives and senators for more information and answers.

Anthony Musso

retired human resources director

Baton Rouge

Guest column: School choice data doesn’t reflect classroom reality

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