PTSA Discussion Topics

TOPS FUNDING CUTS

Please read the letter below regarding TOPS from the LA PTA 1st VP - Legislation, that she sent to her State Representative on behalf of LA PTA’s position on further funding cuts to the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS).  


We encourage all of you to call and write to your legislators and join the Facebook page - Louisiana Citizens for TOPS Funding. 


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I am sending all of you a copy of the letter I just sent to my State Representative. The new proposed budget has them cutting TOPS drastically. I urge you all to call and email your legislators to show your disappointment.  Please forward or post to any and all to help save this program. We can agree it needs reform but cuts are not reform.

TO:  wrightm@legis.la.gov
 I am the Vice President of Legislation for the Louisiana Parent Teacher Association (PTA). We represent ALL children and families in Louisiana-and currently have 24,000 members from across the state. This is our position on TOPS funding...

I am writing to express my extreme disappointment regarding the failure of our Louisiana legislators to reconcile our budget deficit issues. In particular, I have grave concerns regarding the cuts made and future threats posed to funding of the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) due to our inability to implement meaningful structural reforms to remedy our ongoing fiscal crisis. The TOPS program has helped keep our intellectual capital at home where it belongs, has changed the perception of the business community regarding Louisiana as a place to conduct business, and has spurred a renaissance of innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship. Significant cuts to the TOPS program would reverse these encouraging trends and have disastrous consequences.


It is simply irresponsible and unfair to our families planning to send students to Louisiana universities to hold the TOPS program and these students’ futures in limbo. We expect and deserve better.  

We would urge you and your fellow legislators to address our fiscal issues and to fully restore funding of the TOPS program. We are committed to holding all legislators accountable during the next election cycle for failure to demonstrate leadership in this regard, regardless of party.


Cutting education funding is almost always the worst remedy for plugging budget gaps, because such cuts exacerbate all other issues we face as a state and have a spiraling effect. Increases in public assistance, state-sponsored healthcare, and crime, along with a smaller tax base from the loss of employed college graduates in our state ensures that these short-term measures to address our economic woes will create greater fiscal crises down the road. 

A Facebook community page entitled Louisiana Citizens for TOPS Funding has been created to share information and resources in this effort, and over 3,000 of my fellow LA Citizens have joined this community, echoing these sentiments.


We wish you well as you address this most important challenge to the future success of our state’s higher education. 

Giselle Allen
Louisiana PTA


LOUISIANA CITIZENS FOR TOPS FUNDING