higher education

etsy.com

It’s been discussed and studied, more than once.

“I got a nice report, plenty of paper. Nothing’s happened.”

So Senator Conrad Appel  of Metairie says it’s time to consolidate governance of Louisiana higher education.

“My bill is to go with one board – one single board.”

Appel says lawmakers have tried to help Higher Ed do more with less, but, “I don’t see any progress. I don’t see any possibility of progress. And I don’t see any mo’ money.”

Wallis Watkins

Nearly two thousand students from colleges and universities around Louisiana showed up at the state Capitol on Wednesday. About a dozen lawmakers were in attendance as well. 


TOPS Uncertainty

Feb 15, 2016
courtesy LOSFA

“The people out there – all they hear is that TOPS is over,” West Monroe Senator Mike Walsworth complained Monday.

Walsworth is one of many lawmakers who have been inundated with calls and emails from constituents, worried about the popular college scholarship program being curtailed. 


Wallis Watkins

Industrial leaders in the Houma-Thibodaux area heard from Governor-elect John Bel Edwards Tuesday. He began the luncheon speech by advising them the state budget crisis is not going to be easily fixed.

“The relatively easy stuff was done years ago. The low-hanging fruit’s been picked,” Edwards said.

He also warned them some of their business tax breaks could be going away.

“We may need to achieve some savings by reducing or eliminating tax expenditures that we then reallocate to higher priority items like higher education.”

Sometimes it seems like the Jindal administration has been all about wooing business and industry, and then keeping them happy. What do those hoping to succeed Jindal plan to do in the way of economic development?

“My administration will focus on job creation and economic development,” Scott Angelle says. “We have made great progress in that area, but I think we need to do more.”

David Vitter also says it will be an important goal, if he’s elected governor.

“I would continue that focus on economic growth and job creation, but shift it a little bit: not focused any more on incentives, but focused on capacity building.”

Higher Education Budget Continues Being Trimmed

Aug 27, 2015
Louisiana Board of Regents

The Louisiana Board of Regents has learned that they’re owed a decent chunk of money. 


Sue Lincoln

As F. King Alexander begins his third year leading the LSU System, he talks with Sue Lincoln about what he really expected when he took the job. He puts higher education funding concerns in perspective, and shares his goals for the years to come.

 The final half-hour of the 2015 legislative session seemed more like an auction than lawmaking, as the House approved dozens of bills in the last 30 minutes. When the gavel came down at 6 p.m. Thursday, nobody was quite sure what-all we had bought — not even Gov. Jindal.

“The process isn’t over,” Jindal told reporters during a post-session press conference. “Obviously, we do want to look carefully through every bill for any unintended consequences.”

Now that we’ve had a few days to examine our “purchases”, here’s what we ended up with:

First, a $24-billion budget.

The bill that was supposed to save the budget from Governor Bobby Jindal’s veto pen sank in House committee Wednesday.

Jack Donahue’s SB 284, known as the SAVE bill, would have created a fee on college students. Students wouldn’t actually pay it; instead, just by registering for classes, they would assign the tax credit for that “fee” over to higher education’s Board of Regents.

“This, to me, just seems like it’s a gimmick,” Gonzales Rep. Eddie Lambert said of the scheme. “Why are we doing this?”

House and Senate committees worked on numerous bills Wednesday, while awaiting today’s main event: the House floor debate on the budget. Several of those bills were previously featured here on Capitol Access.

Jack Donahue’s Senate-approved bill to uncouple TOPS from college tuition found favor with the House Education committee, helped along by the widow of the program’s founder, Phyllis Taylor.

“I would never stand here and support anything that limited the TOPS program,” Taylor told the committee. “We are seeking certainty, not limitations.”

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