The California Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill (SB 1053) that would create an digital library of openly available textbooks, and would allow students to buy hard copies for $20. The textbooks will be published under creative commons licenses, allowing faculty to update them as necessary, and to tailor them to fit their courses. A companion bill, (SB 1052) creates guidelines for the creation of the texts as open educational resources. The textbooks will be published under creative commons licenses, allowing faculty to update them as necessary, and to tailor them to fit their courses.
The legislation was introduced by state Senator Darrell Steinberg, who noted that the cost of textbooks from publishers have become “exorbitant” – over $1,000 a year, on average. The bill now moves to the full legislature.
Sen. Steinberg said in a statement that “As college students and their families struggle with college costs in this difficult time, let’s do what we can with the tools that we have. Through open educational resources, we can use technology to provide high quality college textbooks at a fraction of today’s costs,” said Steinberg (D-Sacramento). “Faculty, publishers and others can unleash their entrepreneurial spirit through the competitive bidding process in creating these materials. Our students and California’s economy will reap the benefits.”
For further info:
- Press Release, Sen. Steinberg. Senate Passes Steinberg’s Measures to Save Millions in College Textbook Costs.
- Patrick McGreevy for the LA Times. California lawmakers pursue affordable textbooks on Internet.
- Torey Van Oot for the Sacremento Bee. California bill creating online library of free textbooks advances