Volume 1, Issue 1 June 22, 2018
A Weekly Look at News and Notes from the Louisiana Board of Regents
House approves budget : The Full House met this afternoon and passed Representative Paula Davis’ revenue bill ( HB10 ). The bill initially raised $421M at .4 of one cent and was amended to raise $463M at .45 of one cent. As a result of the additional $42M raised in the bill, Representative Cameron Henry’s appropriations bill ( HB1 ) appropriates the remaining $29.4M needed to fully fund TOPS, $3.2M to Southern University for accreditation needs and $1.5M to Grambling State University to strengthen STEM programs that produce four- and five-star jobs. Also, higher education remains funded at existing year levels and GO Grants remain funded $2M above existing year levels for a total of $28.4M.
The Senate convened this evening and received the bills. The Senate Finance and Revenue & Fiscal Affairs Committees will meet tomorrow to hear the bills and it is anticipated that the full Senate will hear the bills Sunday. 

Louisiana Leaders, including Regent Sonia Perez, to Join
Landmark White House STEM Event
June 22, 2018

Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced his selection of three leading Louisiana advocates of STEM preparation to represent Louisiana at the inaugural State-Federal Science Technology Engineering and Math Summit to be hosted next week by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in Washington, D.C.
The Louisiana attendees for the June 25-26 summit will be Dr. Calvin Mackie, founder of STEM NOLA; AT&T Louisiana President Sonia Perez; and Susana Schowen, director of workforce initiatives for Louisiana Economic Development’s LED FastStart ®  program.  

Our Views: Jeopardizing funding for colleges shortchanges both students' and state's futures
June 19, 2018
The blockade of revenue measures in the state House of Representatives is not only frustrating to senators across the State Capitol’s main hall but in institutions large and small across the state.

Louisiana post-secondary system chairs seek legislative funding for higher ed, TOPS
June 18, 2018

Today, the chairs of Louisiana's four public postsecondary systems - the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, the LSU System, the Southern University System Board of Supervisors, and the UL System, in conjunction with the Louisiana Board of Regents, sent a joint letter to seek funding for higher education and for TOPS.. 

UNO Gets Grant to Develop Cybersecurity Training Facility
June 17, 2018
The University of New Orleans says it has received a $195,400 grant to develop an advanced training facility for cybersecurity and operations.

Louisiana's new higher education leader starts job early to help head off potential budget cuts
June 15, 2018

Louisiana's new higher education chief Kim Hunter Reed started her job three weeks early to help head off another round of crippling cuts for colleges and universities.

Regents to Legislature: Remove threat to higher education
June 14, 2018
The Board of Regents, charged with providing advice and recommendations to the Legislature, makes the recommendations below.

The Latest: House approves budget to spend $463M sales tax

June 22, 2018

Lawmakers in the Louisiana House agreed to a sales tax renewal. Then, they voted to spend the $463 million it would raise for the budget that begins in July.

The spending plans adopted in a 95-1 vote Friday would shield higher education and the TOPS college tuition program from cuts, along with the food stamp program. Some public safety programs still would take reductions.

Deal brokered: Louisiana House advances sales tax bill; here are next steps

June 22, 2018
The Louisiana House has advanced a sales tax measure seen as a compromise and significant movement in a chamber that has struggled on the issue through three special sessions.

The House had been locked in impasse over whether to renew half or two-fifths of an expiring 1-cent sales tax. Under one scenario, the state sales tax rate would go from 5 percent to 4.5 percent on July 1; under the other, the tax rate would go from 5 percent to 4.4 percent.

In a 74-24 vote and after little discussion, the House agreed to advance a bill that would renew nine-twentieths and set the state sales tax rate at 4.45 percent.

The Latest: House approves budget to spend $463M sales tax

June 22, 2018

Lawmakers in the Louisiana House agreed to a sales tax renewal. Then, they voted to spend the $463 million it would raise for the budget that begins in July.

LSU Student Gov't. hosts rally at La. State Capitol in support of TOPS, higher education
June 20, 2018
At the conclusion of the second special legislative session, the Louisiana State Legislature failed to stabilize funding for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) and LSU. Unless the legislature acts before June 30, students will face the following:

  • 30 percent cut to TOPS, meaning students will have to cover an additional $2,200 next year for their education
  • 13 percent cut to LSU, which is roughly $21 million. These cuts would drastically impact students’ classes, facilities, and support services.

LSU Student Government representatives are working hard to ensure legislators hear what students have to say about these cuts to TOPS and LSU.

A White House proposal to merge the Departments of Education and Labor has reignited a long-running debate about whether the worker training and education functions of the federal bureaucracy should be distinct or part of the same operation -- and whether there might be better ways to create a more coherent system for educating and training Americans. The proposal is part of a broader plan to overhaul much of the federal government released by the Trump administration Thursday.

Does online education help cities and states increase postsecondary access and success for the undergraduate students who need it most?
Using federal data on online enrollments, prices and completions, as well as state-by-state data from the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, Richard Garrett made the case that online education has helped to suppress the tuition prices adult students are paying, and that colleges that enroll many students online are significantly increasing access to higher education for adult students.