A request to pre-file a bill that would raise the grade point average requirement for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students scholarship program was done Monday.
Rep. Gene Reynolds, District 10, was in Baton Rouge and requested to pre-file the bill. He said if passed, the bill would raise the minimum high school GPA from a 2.5 to a 3.0 starting with all incoming college freshmen in the fall.
Currently, the TOPS Core GPA is 2.5 for the tech or opportunity awards. The minimum GPA for performance or honors is 3.0.
“The bill would also allow current and future TOPS students to defer and use when needed as long as the eligibility was not lost due to grades or credits not earned,” he said. “This would allow a student to work first and go to school later if they choose, or if a situation evolved where a student needed to leave school in good standing could return later.”
He is also working to get TOPS fully funded and streamline the qualifications. In Gov. John Bel Edwards’ proposed budget, TOPS may not be fully funded.
“My goal is to fully fund critical priorities of our state, most notably the TOPS program and transportation, but we cannot do that without making reforms and without additional revenue,” Edwards said. “This is a critical moment for our state, but I am confident that we can make the changes we need to so the priorities I have identified can be funded for the people of our state.”
TOPS is funded in the proposed budget, but not 100 percent, he said. His top goal is to fully fund it if the legislature can pass new revenue streams.
Reynolds said it would be about a week before it hits pre-filed status and assigned a number.