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

Devon Sanders and Joby Richard

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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