Legislature takes up controversial Tulane scholarship bills

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wwltv.com

Posted on April 8, 2014 at 7:50 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 8 at 7:59 AM

WWLTV.com
Email: webteam@wwltv.com | Twitter: @WWLTV

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- State lawmakers in Baton Rouge are taking up what's become a very controversial issue Tuesday, Tulane University legislative scholarships.

The issue of the Tulane scholarships has been one swirling with controversy, mainly because there has never been a standard set as to how the scholarships should be given out.

Each year, all 144 members of the Louisiana Legislature are given the chance to select a student for a full, one-year, $41,000 scholarship to Tulane University.

It's a program designed to give high-achieving Louisiana students an exclusive opportunity for a Tulane education.

A joint investigation from Eyewitness News and The New Orleans Advocate, found that some legislators are picking the sons and daughters of friends, political allies and campaign contributors, as their choices for those students awarded the lucrative scholarships.

Many of the legislators WWL-TV and The New Orleans Advocate spoke with at the time said they could not choose a student from their district because they did not know who was eligible or no students from their district applied for the program.

Now, the question is exactly how recipients are being selected, and what their relationships may be to the lawmaker.

In addition, several local school systems, schools, teachers and principals did not even know the scholarship program existed at the time, therefore students were not able to apply.

Tulane University has gone on record in the past saying it would take the program out of the hands of legislators and look at different ways of giving out the scholarship money, however that idea was shot down.

Today, the senate committee will look at two different bills regarding the scholarships, one that would greatly reform the program, and another to get rid of it all together.

 

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