A survey from the Department of Education finds most Louisiana families are satisfied with their early childhood provider. Jeff Palermo has more…

Cut 1 (28) “I’m Jeff Palermo”


TOPS would be fully funded by using revenues from riverboat gambling, under a proposal to be taken up in the upcoming regular session. Halen Doughty has more…

Cut 2 (30) “I’m Halen Doughty”


An LSU survey finds voters do not support reducing the amount of the TOPS award as a way to save money. Don Molino has more…

Cut 3 (25) “I’m Don Molino”


Most families are satisfied with their child’s early childhood provider. That’s according to a recent survey from the Department of Education, which finds 90 percent of respondents are likely to choose their program again. Assistant Superintendent of Early Childhood, Jenna Conway says families also say they are befitting from changes making more families eligible for childcare assistance and simplifying the enrollment process.

Cut 4  (09) “process locally”

Survey respondents say they are finding it easier to apply and access early childhood. While 88 percent say they are satisfied with the quality of their child’s program, Conway says four out of ten families note they are not sure if their child is making progress, or whether they are learning the necessary skills to prepare them for kindergarten.

Cut 5  (10)  “quality benchmarks”

Conway says the results of this study can be used to improve DOE’s early childhood program. She says the first step is identifying the challenges they face. She says local communities are leading the way in figuring out ways to engage families in the learning process.

Cut 6 (10) “that work”


A bill filed for the regular session seeks to fully fund TOPS by using a portion of riverboat gaming revenue. For the first time ever, the popular taxpayer funded scholarship didn’t cover all of a student’s tuition costs this year. Baton Rouge Representative Franklin Foil says he wants to make sure the program isn’t underfunded in the future.

Cut 7 (08)  “a year”

Foil says currently over 75 percent of riverboat gaming funds go to the state general fund. He says less than 25 percent of the funds are going to education. But he says the whole purpose of those funds is supposed to be funding education.

Cut 8 (11) “for that purpose”

Foil says the governor’s proposed budget for next fiscal year only funds TOPS at 70 percent. The Republican legislator says if his bill passes, TOPS would have to be fully funded, before riverboat gaming revenues can be used on other items in budget…

Cut 9 (09)  “off the top”


Most Louisianans oppose reducing the amount of the TOPS scholarship award to cut costs, according to a recent survey from LSU. State leaders have proposed several means of making TOPS more affordable, including limiting the amount each student receives. Michael Henderson with the LSU Public Policy Research Lab says 64 percent of respondents are not in favor of that method.

Cut 10 (05) “fan of that”

TOPS is only funded at 70 percent under the governor’s budget proposal for next fiscal year. That means lawmakers will have to find a way to fund the $300 million program, or nearly 50-thousand college students will foot part of the bill for their tuition. Henderson says the public is interested in other ways to reduce TOPS spending.

Cut 11 (08) “for that”

The survey found 60 percent of respondents support raising the academic requirements for the scholarship, which are currently a 2.5 GPA and a 20 on the ACT. Henderson says while 52 percent of voters do not support limiting the program to only low income families, 56 percent would take TOPS eligibility away from families on the upper end of the income bracket.

Cut 12 (08) “for that”


Louisiana’s revised coastal restoration masterplan will be taken up by lawmakers in the regular session, as part of the governor’s legislative package to protect and restore the state’s coast. The bill contains 120 projects to be completed in the next five years that will maintain over 800 square miles of coastal land. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish co-authored the legislation.

Cut 13 (07) “can afford”

Morrish says this living document is updated every year, so projects can be moved around depending on funding. Thirty projects are scheduled to begin or continue construction in the next fiscal year. The masterplan allocates $50 billion over 50 years, and Morrish says some state dollars are used, but most of the funding comes from outside sources.

Cut 14 (09) “settlement money”

Nearly $18 billion will go toward marsh creation, $5 billion is set aside for sediment diversion, and $19 billion will be used for hurricane protection. Morrish says the projects are fairly evenly divided between protection and restoration.

Cut 15 (09) “Louisiana coast”


Sixth ranked LSU will host instate rival Tulane tonight at the Box as the Tigers begin a five-game homestand. The Bayou Bengals are coming off a 10-6 victory over Florida. They trailed 5-0 in that contest. Coach Paul Mainieri says a win like that can mean a lot during a long season…

Cut 16 (11) “for our team”

LSU is 18-7 on the season and they are coming off a week in which they split four games. Mainieri says he’s seeing improvement out of his bullpen…

Cut 17 (20)  “our bullpen”

The Green Wave won two games over the igers last season, winning seven to one in Baton Rouge and four to one in New Orleans. Mainieri says everytime they play Tulane it’s a spirited game…

Cut 18 (15)      “…of the game“