BATON ROUGE — An effort to shield Louisiana’s highest-performing and poorest students from cuts to the TOPS college tuition program stalled Wednesday in favor of a proposal that would raise the academic standards for getting an award.

Rep. Gary Carter, a New Orleans Democrat, proposed to direct the flow of TOPS assistance to certain types of students if lawmakers don’t provide enough money to pay full tuition costs, similar to the program’s short-changing this year.

Starting in the 2020-21 school year, dollars would be prioritized for students who score 30 or higher on the ACT college admissions test and poor students whose

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