A bill that gives students a grace period for TOPS eligibility due to COVID-19 goes to Senate floor


    Answer sheet (Getty Images)

    A bill approved by the Louisiana Senate Education Committee this week provides a grace period for TOPS applicants to take college entrance exams.  Authored by Sen. Cleo Fields (D-Baton Rouge), SB 99 would allow high school graduates  who can prove they couldn’t take the ACT by April because of COVID-19 concerns to submit those test scores as late as September.

    Current law makes TOPS available to students who started homeschool instruction before the end of 10th grade.  Field’s bill would allow TOPS to be made available for students who started home school after the end of 10th grade provided the “approved home study program was precipitated by circumstances documented to be beyond the immediate control of the applicant.”

    Sujuan Boutte, the executive director for the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance under the Board of Regents, told the education committee Wednesday that a student who was ill with cancer and had a compromised immune system had to be pulled out of regular school after 11th grade to begin instruction at home, and that student wasn’t eligible for TOPS.

    The bill will next be considered on the floor of the Senate.