By MELINDA DESLATTE
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana's higher education leaders and advocates had big goals for the just-ended legislative session.
They were asking lawmakers to give up their authority over tuition hikes, to revamp the state's free college tuition program known as TOPS and to stop hitting the campuses with budget cuts.
They got very little of what they sought.
Lawmakers stonewalled many of the requests and continued to shrink state financing for the schools. Louisiana remains the only state in the nation that requires two-thirds backing from lawmakers for tuition increases.
Commissioner of Higher Education Jim Purcell said Monday that he sees the legislative session as positive. He says lawmakers boosted higher education funding from where Gov. Bobby Jindal proposed it, and he says lawmakers understand that higher education needs a stable, long-term funding stream.
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