Rallo: Parents, students should ‘feel outraged’ over TOPS funding failure

Devon Sanders and Joby Richard

07EDUC-photo-Rallo
Joseph Rallo, the state’s departing higher education leader, discussed budget issues and the future of the state’s universities in an interview in his office. (Photo: Devon Sanders, LSU Manship School News Service)

Joseph Rallo, the state’s departing higher education leader, said Thursday that parents and students should “feel outraged” that lawmakers failed for a second time to raise enough revenue to fully fund TOPS and avoid significant cuts at universities.

The Legislature passed a budget Monday that would slash funding for TOPS scholarships by 30 percent, or $85 million, and cut operating funds for universities, which had already declined substantially over the last decade, by $96 million.

“I am leaving after three and half years, and nothing has gotten better. Nothing,” said Rallo, who was a top official at universities in Texas and Illinois before becoming Louisiana’s commissioner of higher education in 2015.

“I think it is a very unfortunate position for the state, for the parents, for the students, and at the end of the day, for the economy,” he said in a series of interviews.

Read the story in KALB.

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