By MELINDA DESLATTE
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Even a task force created to recommend ways to remake Louisiana's TOPS college tuition program can't decide how the popular, 20-year-old program should be tweaked.
Rather than assess nearly a dozen proposals and decide which ones to recommend to the House and Senate, the legislative study group instead Wednesday advanced all of them.
Some of the ideas were divisive. Several conflict with each other. And it was unclear if any of the major suggestions could get a majority support from the task force as its members diverge on whether the program should reward high-performing or needy students.
That's the same dispute lawmakers have grappled with for years, as TOPS' costs grew to $291 million. They don't agree on what the program's focus should be and which students should be prioritized.
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