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Posted: Tuesday, 05 November 2013 8:41AM

Lawmaker wants to end controversial scholarship program

Is support growing for doing away with the hundreds of college scholarships controlled by Louisiana lawmakers? After recent reports found lawmakers are still giving a lot of these scholarships to politically connected friends and family, there are some rumblings about ending the program.  

Lawmakers have been called out publicly before, for awarding one year, full tuition scholarships at Tulane University to people who appear to be more politically connected than deserving of a free Tulane education. And with recent reports showing not much has changed, Thibodaux independent Jerome "Dee" Richard says maybe the program just isn't worth it.

"I'm not totally against it but I can do without it," said Richard.  "With all the TOPS and awards that we have, I think it's time that we not allow all these people to have scholarships."

The Thibodaux independent also acknowledged that convincing his legislative colleagues to give up a perk that means tens of thousands of dollars in education at a prestigious university is not going to be easy.

"Obviously, it's going to be tough," Richard said.  "It's going to be an uphill battle."

Richard shays he can't force Tulane to do away with the scholarships, but he can take a look at any tax benefits the school may derive from the program.  Richard also wants to do away with the scholarships given out by the members of LSU Board of Supervisors, saying that program also has too much potential for misuse, cronyism and the appearance of corruption.

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Topics : Education
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Locations : Louisiana
People : Jerome "Dee" Richard
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