Darrell Steinberg Pushes 'Open-Source' College Textbooks For Californians

Ann McClure's picture

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced Tuesday that he will push for legislation to create an online, open-source library to reduce the cost of course materials for college students across the state.

Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said the average student spends $1,300 a year on textbooks, a figure his staff said is based on projections that the University of California, California State University and community college systems provide to students for budgeting purposes.

Under his proposal, materials for 50 common lower division courses would be developed and posted online for free student access. Ordering a paper copy would cost $20, compared to the $200-plus price tag that some books carry.

Steinberg plans to seek $25 million to create his proposed Open Education Resources system, with some funding going towards soliciting course material contributions from academics, nonprofits, Silicon Valley developers and the book publishing industry to be shared freely within the system.

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