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Studying TOPS (2017)

Louisiana Public Square



Genre: Panel

Place Covered: Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2017-08-23

Duration: 00:57:14

Subjects: Filmed panel discussions | HIGHER EDUCATION | TOPS PROGRAM | Taylor Opportunity Program for Students | STATE BUDGET


  • Courtney, Beth Host
  • Moreau, Andre Host
  • Gautreaux, Kevin Producer
  • Spires, Kelly Producer
  • Scott, Robert Travis Interviewee
  • Foil, Franklin Interviewee
  • Thami, Faith Interviewee
  • Howard, Darla Speaker
  • Howard, Joseph Speaker
  • Marlin, Maxwell Speaker
  • Kemp, Eva Speaker
  • Leavoy, Leslie Speaker
  • Tucker, Lynn Speaker
  • Dimaio, Eddie Speaker
  • Gamard, Sarah Speaker
  • Cutrera, Mary Lou Speaker
  • Fontenot, Gabrielle Speaker
  • Fontenot, Monique Speaker
  • Caillier, James Panelist
  • Morrish, Dan "Blade" Panelist
  • Lipsey, Richard Panelist
  • Crisp, Elizabeth Panelist


This episode of the series “Louisiana Public Square” from August 23, 2017, features Andre Moreau leading a discussion between the audience members and panelists on the future of the TOPS scholarship program. A background report on the topic precedes the discussion. It includes interviews with: Robert Travis Scott, the president of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana; State Representative Franklin Foil; and Faith Thami, a sophomore at LSU. The audience members then discuss their view of the TOPS program and possible changes that can make TOPS more sustainable. A panel of experts then joins the audience to answer their questions. The panelists are: Dr. James Caillier, executive director of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation; State Senator Dan “Blade” Morrish, the chairman of the Senate Education Committee; Richard Lipsey, the chairman of the Louisiana Board of Regents; and Elizabeth Crisp, a reporter for “The Advocate” newspaper. They discuss: the success of the TOPS program; the purpose of the Legislature’s TOPS Task Force; whether the program should be merit-based or needs-based; the requirements of the program; what Louisiana can learn from similar programs in other states; prioritizing programs within the state budget; and the TOPS Tech award for students attending two-year colleges. Hosts: Beth Courtney and Andre Moreau